Turkey hit by new earthquakes, two weeks after quakes devastated region

A view of a collapsed building after 6.4 and 5.8 magnitude earthquakes hit the Iskenderun district of Hatay, on Feb. 20. Photo: Elif Ozturk Ozgoncu /Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook southern Turkey on Monday, just two weeks after a massive earthquake and aftershocks devastated the region.

Driving the news: The first earthquake on Monday was followed by a second 5.8 magnitude quake, according to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, which urged people to stay away from the coastline as a precaution against possible rising sea levels.

  • The quakes struck Turkey's Hatay province and were felt in Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt as well, AP reported.
  • The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria from the massive earthquakes that hit the region earlier this month has neared 45,000.

State of play: Lutfu Safas, the mayor of Hatay, told Turkish broadcaster NTV that several buildings had collapsed and trapped people inside, the New York Times reported.

  • Safas urged people to avoid going near or inside damaged buildings.
  • Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said at a press conference Monday that eight people had been injured, CNN reported.

Syrian state media said Monday that six people had been taken to Aleppo University Hospital as a result of falling debris.

  • The Syrian Civil Defense, first responders also known as the White Helmets, said that a number of people had been injured in opposition-held areas in northwest Syria after being struck by falling debris, jumping from buildings, or from a stampede of people. Other buildings sustained damaged without causing injuries.
  • The White Helmets added that there was "a state of panic and fear among the people" as a result of the new quake.
  • "Most of the people went to the open areas and streets for fear of the collapse of the cracked buildings from the previous earthquake."
  • The Syrian American Medical Society, which operates hospitals in northern Syria, said a number of people — including a seven-year-old boy — had been treated after suffering heart attacks brought on by fear from the earthquakes, AP reported.

Editor's note: This is a developing story and will be updated.

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