TURKEY—A series of earthquakes have impacted the country of Turkey and parts of Syria on Tuesday, February 6. New information tabulates the death toll in Turkey to be a total loss of at least 3,500 people.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the most recent tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17 9 km (11 miles) nearest the city of Gaziantep, Turkey. Gaziantep is a major city in Turkey and provincial capital.

Gaziantep Castle

The first earthquake hit at approximately 4:17 a.m. The famous Gaziantep Castle was badly damaged during the first earthquake. The Gaziantep Castle was used by the Hittite Empire in Roman times as a lookout point. A good portion of the 2000-year-old castle was destroyed.

Earthquake Damaged Castle

Reports indicate that the earthquake is the worst natural disaster in 84 years. Initial reports from Turkish authorities confirmed 1,651 deaths, and 968 reported from Syria. Updated reports indicate an earthquake with the magnitude of 7.8 followed by a tremor with the magnitude of 7.5. The death toll rose within hours to 2,600 in Turkey and northwestern Syria combined. Nearly a thousand more deaths have been confirmed since.

Photos of the area depict toppling buildings and widespread destruction. Recent reports indicate over 5,000 people have been injured. Rescue workers are struggling to find survivors in the rubble and debris left behind following the aftershocks and tremors.

Christian Atsu

Syria lost hundreds of people as well, with approximately 1,000 reported injuries in a land that was already devastated by 11 years of war and conflict. The areas hit the hardest in Syria were mostly Hama, Aleppo, and Latakia provinces.

Reports indicate that the Ghanaian Soccer player, Christian Atsu’s body may have been lost in the rubble.

The President of Ghana, Naa Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo issued the following statement:

“May their souls rest in perfect peace. Our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors, and we pray that our fellow Ghanaian, Christian Atsu, is found safe and sound.”