A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has struck an area of southeast Turkey, with tourists urged by the Foreign Office (FCDO) to “avoid the immediate vicinity” of the incident.
The FCDO updated its advice to UK travellers at 3am on Monday, following the tragic incident in the early hours.
The initial 7.8 earthquake struck the southeastern city of Gaziantep at 4.17am local time. Turkey’s emergency authorities have since reported a second, 7.5 magnitude earthquake in a different southeast location at 1.24pm local time.
At the time of writing, the combined death toll of the incident in Syria and Turkey stands at 1 ,300.
Are holidays to Turkey in the coming weeks affected, and are airlines still operating flights?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Which parts of Turkey are affected?
The city of Gaziantep and its surrounding provinces were hardest hit by the initial earthquake. The first quake was felt at 4.17am local time, with one resident telling CNN that “it felt like it would never be over”.
The city is in the southeast of the country, close to the Syrian border and a sizeable distance from Turkey’s tourism hubs. It lies 823km east of the southern port of Antalya and 1,139km southeast of the port of Istanbul.
The 7.8 magnitude quake is the strongest to hit Turkey in more than eight decades; the country saw a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in August 1999, but the last recorded 7.8 incident was in December 1939.
One concern for tourists or visitors to the area is aftershocks, which have been felt since the initial quake.
Later on Monday, Turkey’s AFAP emergency authority reported a second quake in the town of Ekinozu, this time at a magnitude of 7.5. The town is 842km east of Antalya, and 196km north of Gaziantep.
Local emergency services are still working to rescue locals from the rubble, with the rising death toll currently estimated to be 1,300.
Tremors from the initial quake were felt as far away as Cyprus (415km from Gaziantep), Lebanon and Israel.
Holidaymaker Julia Miernik tweeted: “What just happened? 3.20am and my whole hotel is floating, bed is shaking on the ground and everybody is screaming. Then I see the news in #Turkey First day on my holidays and #earthquake?” She later told followers she was staying in Larnaca, Cyprus.
The ancient historic site of Gaziantep Castle (circa 656 AD), has also been badly damaged by the…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…