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Shaking was detected some 3,400 miles away from Turkey on the east coast of Greenland around eight minutes after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck at 4.17am this morning. Thousands have died and more are trapped or injured in collapsed buildings in Turkey and Syria with desperate rescue operations continuing into this evening.
“The large earthquakes in Turkey were clearly registered on the seismographs in Denmark and Greenland,” said seismologist Tine Larsen from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
A first 7.8-magnitude quake struck at 4.17am (1.17am GMT) at a depth of about 11 miles from the Turkish city of Gaziantep, which is home to around two million people, the US Geological Survey said.
“The waves from the earthquake reached the seismograph on the Danish island of Bornholm some 3,500 miles away approximately five minutes after the shaking started,” Ms Larsen said.
“Eight minutes after the earthquake, the shaking reached the east coast of Greenland, propagating further through all of Greenland,” she added.
“We have registered both earthquakes – and a lot of aftershocks – in Denmark and Greenland,” she said.
Today’s earthquake is the deadliest in Turkey since a 7.4-magnitude one in 1999 when more than 17,000 people died, including about 1,000 in Istanbul.
Hundreds are still trapped under rubble on both sides of the Turkey/Syria border as a result of the first quake, and the toll continues to rise as rescue workers search through mounds of wreckage for families crushed in their sleep.
The death toll could rise to as many as 10,000 people, the United States Geological Survey have added.
Turkey has declared a Level 4 Emergency, the highest possible alert, mobilising all its national services to help with rescue missions while calling on international support.
Among the buildings destroyed was a hospital in the Mediterranean coastal city of Iskanderoun.
Footage of the rescue attempts across Turkey and Syria show emergency service workers, boosted by civilian efforts, frantically pulling away slabs of heavy concrete to get to screaming people stuck in the rubble.
One video shows a rescue worker carrying a toddler with blood stains on her pyjamas hurriedly towards an ambulance. She had been discovered in the rubble of a building in the Syrian town of Sarmada.
It just one of dozens of images and videos detailing the children caught up in the disaster.
The earthquake was centred about 60 miles from the Syrian border, just north of the city of Gaziantep, a major Turkish provincial capital of more than 2 million people.
The region has been shaped by more than a decade of war in Syria. Millions of Syrian refugees live in Turkey.
The swath of Syria affected by the quake is divided between government-held and opposition-held areas.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas hit by the quake.
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