A new earthquake shook southern Turkey and northwestern Syria on Monday evening, spreading panic among survivors and trapping people under more collapsed buildings.
This comes two weeks after a devastating double tremor destroyed more than 100,000 buildings, killed more than 46,000 people and displaced over a million.
The 6.3-magnitude quake struck near the town of Uzunbag in Turkey’s Hatay Province just after 5 p.m. local time, according to the United States Geological Survey, the NewYorkTimes reported.
The same province suffered widespread damage in the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck before dawn on Feb. 6, followed by a powerful 7.5-magnitude aftershock a few hours later.
The shake on Monday spread terror across the quake zone, where many people, traumatized by the earlier disaster, are staying in tents and sleeping in their cars, escaping a repeat of the quake in their building.
According to reports, the Sheraton hotel in the city of Adana, where a number of buildings had collapsed in the initial quake, families crammed into elevators with their luggage to evacuate the building.
Residents in the quake zone in Turkey have been warned by authorities to stay away from damaged structures.
Serkan Topal, a Turkish lawmaker who was in Hatay during Monday’s earthquake, told is reported to have said that “I am afraid there are casualties,” without specifying if he meant dead or wounded. Turkey’s Halk TV reported.
The new quake could exacerbate the challenge of providing shelter to survivors still in the area, he said.
“Now, we will need even more tents even more,” he said. “After this evening’s quake, no one will enter their houses. We need tents, tents.”
Hatay’s governor, Rahmi Dogan, told the state-run Anadolu news agency that the authorities were scanning the city for possible destruction and that residents had appealed for help.
Speaking to reporters in Ankara, the Turkish capital, Vice President Fuat Oktay said that eight people had been injured and warned residents of the quake zone to stay away from damaged buildings.
Turkey’s disaster management said this week that more than 6,000 aftershocks had hit the 11 provinces that make up the disaster zone in the days since the initial quakes of early February.