The death toll in new earthquakes in Turkey and Syria rises to 8

ISTANBUL (HPD) — A powerful new quake has killed at least eight people in Turkey and Syria two weeks after a devastating earthquake that killed nearly 45,000 people in the same area, authorities and media said Tuesday.

According to the Turkish disaster management agency, six people lost their lives and 294 more were injured — 18 of them seriously — after Monday’s magnitude 6.4 tremor. In Syria, a woman and a girl died in panic in the provinces of Hama and Tartous, according to pro-government media.

The epicenter of the quake was in the town of Defne, in the Turkish province of Hatay, which is on the border with Syria. The telluric movement was also felt in Jordan, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon and even in Egypt, and was followed by another of magnitude 5.8 and dozens of tremors.

Hatay was one of the Turkish regions hardest hit by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6. Thousands of buildings were destroyed in the province then and the tremor on Monday aggravated the damage. The Antioch governor’s office, the historic heart of Hatay, was also damaged.

Authorities had warned quake victims not to trespass among the ruins of their homes, but residents have tried to recover as much belongings as possible. Some were trapped on Monday.

Most of the deaths caused by the powerful tremor earlier in the month, which was followed by a magnitude 7.5 tremor nine hours later, were in Turkey, with 41,156 deaths. The epicenter was in the province of Kahramanmaras, in the south of the country. According to the authorities, more than 110,000 buildings in 11 affected provinces were destroyed or damaged so badly that they had to be demolished.

In the government-controlled part of Syria in Damascus, a girl was killed in the western town of Safita, according to the daily Al-Watan, and a woman was killed in the central Syrian city of Hama, which it had already been hit by the first quake, the Sham FM radio station said.

The White Helmets, the civil defense group in northwestern Syria, said some 190 people suffered various injuries in the rebel-held region, mostly broken bones and bruises. Several unstable buildings collapsed but no others were trapped, he added.

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