With this death toll, Monday’s quakes surpassed the lethality of the 1999 quake, with its epicenter on the Sea of Marmara coast, where 17,127 people lost their lives. Thus, they are exceeded only by that of Erzincan, in 1939, where the dead reached 32,000.
The assessment of the earthquakes recorded Monday in the south of Turkey, near the border with Syria, amounted to more than 19,000, including around 16,000 on Turkish territory, according to the latest reports published by the authorities of the two countries and Syrian Civil Defense. , known as the White Helmets.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that so far 16,170 people have been confirmed dead in the country, while 64,194 have been injured. In Syria, state officials put the death toll in government-held areas at 1,262, while the White Helmets civil defense group put the death toll at 1,930 in rebel-held areas. in the northwest of the country. Thus, the total number of deaths in the two countries stands at 19,362.
In addition, a total of 5,158 people were reported injured in government-controlled and rebel-ruled Syria. Experts said the number of dead and injured is expected to continue to rise sharply in the coming days, The Guardian newspaper reported.
“The earthquake affected an area of about 110,000 square kilometers, which is equal to or larger than the area of many countries in Europe,” Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said. “This earthquake is the third largest in the last 2,000 years, since the 1668 earthquake and the Erzincan earthquake in 1939,” Oktay said during an appearance before parliament, according to the Turkish news agency Anatolia.
With these casualty figures, the lethality already exceeds that recorded during the 1999 earthquake, of magnitude 7.6 and epicenter on the coast in the Sea of Marmara (17,127 dead), and which was until now the most great tragedy experienced in the region in recent decades, underlined the newspaper El País. The current disaster is being called in Turkish media “the tragedy of the century” and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has compared it to the Erzincan earthquake of 1939, which killed more than 32,000 people.