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Why was the Turkey-Syria earthquake so deadly?

The powerful earthquake wiped out sections of Turkish cities
— Paris (AFP)

A combination of factors made the powerful earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria early Monday particularly deadly, including its timing, location, relatively quiet fault line and the weak construction of the collapsed buildings, experts said.

More than 2,300 people have been killed by the 7.8-magnitude quake near Turkey's Syrian border, with the toll expected to grow as aftershocks reverberate throughout the day.

The earthquake caused such devastation partly because of its power -- it is the strongest earthquake to hit Turkey since 1939 -- and because it hit a populated region.

Another reason is that it occurred at 04:17 am (0117 GMT), which meant that sleeping people were "trapped when their houses collapsed," Roger Musson, honorary research associate at the British Geological Survey, told AFP.

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