Devastating earthquake hits Türkiye (VIDEOS)

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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey early Monday morning, triggering several powerful aftershocks felt throughout the region. According to disturbing footage captured by survivors, the jolts caused widespread destruction, knocking down multiple residential buildings.

The strongest jolt, measured by the USGS at 7.8 and the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority at 7.4, occurred around 4:17am local time and was centered 33 kilometers northeast of Gaziantep, a major provincial capital with a population of over 2 million people.

Devastating earthquake hits Türkiye

There was no immediate estimate of total casualties, but scores are feared killed, according to Turkish media reports, as dozens of buildings were damaged or destroyed across ten provinces, including Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Osmaniye, and Malatya, where residents are reportedly trapped under rubble.

According to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, Turkish authorities declared the highest level of emergency, with all rescue services and first responders mobilized to assist the affected provinces.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences to the victims, confirming that search and rescue teams had been dispatched to affected areas immediately, and that all other government institutions were coordinating their response.

Across the border in Syria, several residential buildings are said to have collapsed in Aleppo and Hama, according to local media. The quake was so powerful that it was felt all over the region, including Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus.