Aftershock of magnitude 6.3 strikes Turkey, Lebanon panics

An aftershock of magnitude 6.3 struck Southern Turkey Monday evening, and was felt across the region in Lebanon and Syria.

The United States Geological Survey (USCS) initially stated that the quake was of magnitude 6.4 at a depth of 10 kilometers, before then revising this to state that it was instead of magnitude 6.3.

The aftershock struck Turkey’s southern Hatay province, an area near the Syrian border, as per the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD). The epicenter of the quake was then located as the Defne district. At least 26 aftershocks have happened since.

Officials estimate that at least three people were killed while 294 were injured as a result. According to CNN, three men were trapped when a building that survived the initial earthquake on February 6 collapsed.

Rescue efforts remain rampant in the area, with reports of rescuers falling asleep on rubble near fires in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

In northwest Syria, more than 130 people were injured in Monday’s quake, which ultimately caused a number of buildings to collapse. Many eyewitnesses reported seeing citizens flee their homes when the aftershock struck, with some even jumping out of windows out of terror.

The White Helmets volunteer rescue group is currently undergoing rescue missions in the area. They have been operating on the ground since the initial quake on February 6.

“Our teams are working to take the injured to hospitals, inspect the affected villages and towns, and remove rubble to open the roads for ambulances,” the White Helmets said.

According to various seismological experts, aftershocks of this kind are to be expected after the devastating quake on February 6. As per USGS, “aftershocks become less frequent with time, although can continue for days, weeks, months or even years for a very large mainshock.” It is not possible to exactly estimate how long these aftershocks will continue.

In nearby Lebanon, various citizens reported experiencing the quake on Twitter. In terror, many took to fleeing their homes in fear of buildings collapsing. Today, many have reported feeling uneasy following last night’s tremor.

Lebanese citizens have expressed frustration at the lack of government action and support in light of these recent events. Since February 6, the government has yet to comment or issue any earthquake drills in case of emergency.