Satellite images lay bare full scale of deadly Turkey-Syria earthquake devastation

Credit: Maxar Technologies

By Multimedia Producer Lottie Kilraine

Newly released satellite images have revealed the full scale of devastation wrought upon Turkish cities following one of the world's deadliest earthquakes in more than a decade.

US-based Maxar Technologies collected the new satellite imagery on Wednesday, showing the aftermath in Turkey from Monday's twin earthquakes which also struck Syria.

In Kahramanmaras, which is home to one million people and is the nearest Turkish city to the earthquake’s epicentre, many buildings were damaged in the downtown area.

The satellite imagery also reveals hundreds of emergency tent camps and shelters that have been established in open areas and stadiums in the aftermath of the earthquake.

US-based Maxar Technologies collected the new satellite imagery on Wednesday

Reflecting the scale of devastation when the images were captured on Wednesday, an indoor sports hall in Kahramanmaras has been turned into a make-shift morgue.

On the floor of the hall, which is the size of a basketball court, are dozens of bodies wrapped in blankets or black shrouds.

Erdal Usta, an assistant to the provincial prosecutor, told reporters the bodies that are dug from the rubble are brought to the building and catalogued, and await identification by relatives.

A satellite image of Kahramanmaras after the earthquake shows destroyed buildings and a stadium, now being used for tents and shelters. Credit: Maxar

In the southern city of Antakya, extensive building damage can be seen, particularly where high-rise apartment buildings collapsed.

Satellite stills from before the earthquake show the tower blocks that once stood tall, just two days before.

Many of those who have lost their homes found shelter in tents, stadiums and other temporary accommodation, but others have slept outdoors.

Satellite images courtesy of Maxar show the city of Antakya before (left) and after the earthquake. Credit: Maxar

The struggle for the survivors whose homes have been destroyed is now how to deal with the plummeting temperatures.

According to the disaster management agency, more than 110,000 rescue personnel were now taking part in the effort and more than 5,500 vehicles, including tractors, cranes, bulldozers and excavators had been shipped.

The task is monumental, with thousands of buildings toppled by the earthquake.

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