Hundreds of buildings collapsed, and millions of people in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel felt the earth shake. Hundreds of deaths were reported in Turkey and Syria, and the toll was expected to rise.
The quake struck 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi in Turkey's Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), and is one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
Turkey is located in a seismically active region, with several fault lines crossing the country. The North Anatolian Fault, the East Anatolian Fault, and the Aegean Sea Fault are among the most active fault lines in Turkey, and are responsible for frequent earthquakes in the region. These earthquakes can range from small, barely noticeable tremors to large, devastating events. The Turkish government and international organizations have implemented several measures to minimize the damage caused by earthquakes, such as building codes and emergency response plans.