New 6.3-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Turkey and sparks new fears


A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Syrian-Turkey border on Monday, the The United States Geological Survey saidtwo weeks after the region was devastated by an earthquake that killed more than 46,000 people.

The quake was centered near the city of Uzunbağ in the far south of Turkey, close to Syria and the Mediterranean Sea, according to the USGS. The Turkish government also reported the earthquake on its verified Twitter account.

Reuters reported that the tremor sparked panic and damaged buildings in the nearby city of Antakya and that the quake was felt in Egypt and Lebanon.

“I thought the earth was going to crack under my feet,” Antakya resident Muna Al Omar told Reuters, crying as she held her 7-year-old son in her arms.

“Is there going to be another aftershock?” she asked.

Power went out in the Turkish coastal town of Iskenderun and some buildings collapsed there. Sky News Arabia reportedciting the mayor of the city.

The Turkish government did not immediately release information about possible damage or injuries from the latest quake. Since the magnitude 7.8 quake on February 6, there have been thousands of smaller quakes, according to the government.

Across the border, the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer organization, said the Twitter that an unspecified number of people were injured by falling stones, stampedes, or falling buildings. Several uninhabited buildings were breached in various cities, the organization said.

In Aqrabat, Syria, children were evacuated from a hospital as a precaution despite near-freezing outside temperatures, according to video provided by UOSSM, a Syrian aid organization.

More than 1 million people have been left homeless by the quakes in the two countries, according to Reuters, and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan faces criticism over construction practices that failed to prevent the collapses.

Authorities are also fighting threats to public health, including intestinal and upper respiratory tract infections, following the earthquakes.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken had visited Turkey a day earlier, announcing additional humanitarian aid on Sunday that brought total US earthquake assistance in Turkey and Syria to $185 million.

Worldwide, the United Nations has appealed for more than $1.4 billion for relief operations.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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