The magnitude 7.8 quake, which hit before sunrise in bitter winter weather, was the worst to strike Turkey this century. It was followed in the early afternoon by another large quake of magnitude 7.7.
It was not immediately clear how much damage had been done by the second quake, which like the first was felt across the region and endangered rescuers struggling to pull casualties from the rubble.
“We were shaken like a cradle. There were nine of us at home. Two sons of mine are still in the rubble, I’m waiting for them,” said a woman with a broken arm and injuries to her face, speaking in an ambulance near the wreckage of a seven-storey block where she had lived in Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey.
In Turkey, the death toll stood at 1,498, the disaster agency said. At least 716 people were killed in Syria, according to figures from the Damascus government and the United Nations.
Poor internet connections and damaged roads between some of the worst-hit…