A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has hit southern Turkey, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said Monday.
The quake’s depth is 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), located 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, Gaziantep province, according to the USGS.
Gaziantep Gov. Davut Gul said on Twitter that “the earthquake was felt strongly in our city.”
Gul advised the public to wait outside their homes and stay calm.
“Please let’s wait outside without panic. Let’s not use our cars. Let’s not crowd the main roads. Let’s not keep the phones busy,” he said.
Strong aftershocks have been felt in southern and central Turkey. About 11 minutes after the main quake hit, the strongest aftershock of 6.7 magnitude hit about 32 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of the main quake’s epicenter. Another intense aftershock with a magnitude of 5.6 then occurred 19 minutes after the main quake.
Journalist Eyad Kourdi, who lives in the city of Gaziantep, told CNN there were up to eight “very strong” aftershocks in under a minute after the 7.8 magnitude quake struck, causing belongings in his home to fall to the ground. Many of his neighbors had left their homes following the quake, he added.
Strong aftershocks are likely to continue in the hours and even days to come after an earthquake as strong as this one, according to CNN meteorologists.
This is a breaking news story. More to come…