Killer Turkey earthquake shakes Cyprus

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A strong earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale in Central Turkey early Monday that killed 500 people was felt across Cyprus.

More than 500 people were killed in Turkey and Syria after one of the strongest earthquakes to hit Turkey in more than 100 years sent tremors across the region, collapsing buildings and sending residents running into the streets.

According to the Cyprus Department of Geological Survey, the quake was felt at 3:17 local time in the Gaziantep area (Central Turkey close to the Syrian borders), measuring 7.8.

It said, “the earthquake was strongly felt at a distance of almost 600 kilometres from the epicentre (Iraq, Georgia, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Cyprus).

“In Cyprus, it was strongly felt throughout the island,” a statement said.

One Larnaca resident said: “I was woken up by the room shaking; even the dog was hiding”.

A strong aftershock followed the Turkey earthquake at 03:28 (Mw=6.7) and five tremours with magnitudes greater than 5.

The Geological Survey department said it was monitoring the situation.

A powerful earthquake hit a wide area in south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, killing people and trapping many others.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleymon Soylu said 10 cities were affected: Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis.

At least 2,323 people were injured in Turkey and 639 in Syria.