At least five people died in Syria after the latest earthquakes shook the Turkish-Syrian border region, activists said on Tuesday morning.
Two earthquakes, three minutes apart and measuring 6.4 and 5.8 in magnitude, shook southern Turkey on Monday evening, according to Turkey’s disaster management agency AFAD.
The epicentre was in the district of Samandağ in Turkey’s Hatay province.
This is according to the Turkish observatory Kandilli, but it is felt by residents in Syria, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories.
Among those killed in Syria was a child from the coastal city of Tartus, who died from a heart attack, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
In the Syrian cities of Aleppo, Tartus, Hama and Latakia, residents panicked and jumped off the rooftops and balconies of houses as they tried to rush for safety, the observatory said.
The observatory added that the number of wounded increased to 500, with many suffering fractures and bruises as a result of falling stones and debris as well as amid stampedes.
The activists said 350 of the injured were in government-held areas and 150 in the rebel-held north-west.
Abu Majed, a volunteer in the rescue teams White Helmets in north-west Syria, told dpa many people in the area spent their nights in the open air.
“About 90 per cent of the residents in north-west Syria spent their night with their children either in cars, in the open air or tents,’’ he told dpa on phone,” he added.
According to the medical aid organisation SAMS, houses collapsed in several places near the city of Aleppo.
Meanwhile, at least three people died in Turkey, according to Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, while 213 people were taken to hospital.
Turkish news agency Anadolu on Tuesday reported that the death toll stood at six.
The latest quakes came two weeks after two devastating earthquakes in the same area that had killed more than 47,000 people in Turkey and Syria. (dpa/NAN)