The death toll from a strong earthquake in south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, has exceeded 2,300 people across both countries.
Turkey’s disaster agency said more than 1,500 people died there, while it is estimated that 810 people died in Syria.those numbers are still expected to rise as rescuers comb through mountains of rubble in freezing, snowy weather.
It is Turkey’s worst disaster in decades, the country’s president said.
The US Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep.
Seismologists said the first quake was one of the largest ever recorded in Turkey. Survivors said it took two minutes for the shaking to stop.
Twelve hours later, a second quake, which had a magnitude of 7.5, hit Turkey’s Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province.
An official from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said it was “not an aftershock” and was “independent” from the earlier quake.
Turkey lies in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday’s disaster was the worst the country had seen since 1939, when the Erzincan earthquake in eastern Turkey killed nearly 33,000 people.
However in 1999 there was another deadly quake which killed more than 17,000 in Turkey’s north-west.
One Kahramanmaras resident, Melisa Salman, said living in an earthquake zone meant she was used to “being shaken”, but Monday’s tremor was “the first time we have ever experienced anything like that”.