A huge earthquake rocked the countries of Turkey and Syria early this morning leaving 1,300 people dead and many more reeling in the rumble of the aftermath.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has killed over 1,000 people with hundreds trapped beneath debris as rescue crews start working their way through the mounds of brick and metal. 

According to CBN News, a hospital in Turkey collapsed, and patients, including newborns, were evacuated from facilities in Syria.

"Because the debris removal efforts are continuing in many buildings in the earthquake zone, we do not know how high the number of dead and injured will rise," says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Our hope is that we recover from this disaster with the least loss of life possible."

The centre of the earthquake was in Gaziantep, a capital in Turkey. Due to it's magnitude, the quake could be felt all the way in Cairo, Egypt. 

The area of Syria that was most affected is a strip of land divided between government-held territory and Russian-backed government forces. There are millions of refugees from this Syrian conflict residing in Turkey that are also affected by the earthquake. 

This region has been hit hard previously by earthquakes as it's on top of fault lines, including a massive quake in 1999 that killed 18,000. 

The European Union and NATO have already jumped in to say they'll aid with rescue efforts, including search-and-rescue teams, supplies, and funds. 

It's winter in Turkey and Syria with the weather around freezing temperatures and rain falling on Monday. To help out, Mosques in the area are offering shelter for people who don't have homes to return to. 

Earthquake in North America

Meanwhile, people living in parts of Ontario and New York were awoken by a magnitude 4.2 earthquake early Monday morning.

According to Earthquakes Canada, the quake was centred near Buffalo, New York, but could be felt in Niagra, Hamilton and Mississauga, Ontario.

No damage has been reported.


With files from Colleen Houde.