February 6: A devastating earthquake early on Monday has flattened buildings and killed at least 2300 people in Turkey and Syria as rescuers scramble to search for people trapped in debris, according to media reports.
The BBC reported that the powerful hit a wide area in south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border.
According to the US Geological Survey, the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 11 miles near the city of Gaziantep.
Authorities have confirmed 1,498 casualties in Turkey and 810 in Syria, AFP said in an updated report. Authorities expect the death toll to rise as many people are still trapped inside flattened buildings.
Many buildings have collapsed and rescue teams have been deployed to search for survivors under huge piles of rubble, added the BBC.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that the death toll is expected to climb substantially higher because the night-time disaster flattened dozens of apartment blocks across major cities.
“Tremors were felt as far as Lebanon, Greece, Israel and the island of Cyprus,” the Guardian reported.
According to media reports, there are around 5,000 Nepalis in Turkey and majority of them are undocumented workers.
The Department of Immigration told New Business Age that they do not have the exact number of Nepalis currently living in Turkey.
It may be noted that Turkish aid agencies had sent a search and rescue team to help Nepal in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on its official website.
According to the ministry, Nepal exports carpets, pashmina and handicraft items to Turkey while it imports food items and machineries from there.
Nepal and Turkey signed an Air Service Agreement in September 2010, opening a new avenue connecting Europe and Nepal. Turkish Airlines has been operating direct flights between Kathmandu and Istanbul from 2013, added the ministry.