ANKARA, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- At least 284 people were killed and 2,323 others injured after two strong earthquakes jolted Türkiye early Monday and damaged more than 1,700 buildings, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said.
A magnitude-7.4 quake struck the Pazarcik district of southern Kahramanmaras province at 04:17 (0117 GMT), followed by another magnitude 6.4 quake, which hit southern Gaziantep province at 04:26 (0126 GMT), said the country's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
The focus of the quake was located at a depth of 7 km.
At least 78 successive earthquakes were recorded with a maximum magnitude of 6.6, Oktay told reporters.
Damage was reported in at least 10 provinces in southern and southeastern Türkiye.
The NTV broadcaster showed dozens of collapsed buildings in several provinces and people crowding up on the darkened streets with rescue workers carrying out search-and-rescue operations.
"We dispatched all our search and rescue teams to earthquake zones. We set the highest alert," Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters.
"We've set up a fourth-level alert. This is an alarm that includes international assistance," Soylu said.
The earthquake came as the region was under a snowstorm expected to continue until Thursday.
An explosion occurred on a gas pipeline in Türkiye's southern province of Hatay. Türkiye's state-owned energy company BOTAS has suspended natural gas flow to southern Gaziantep, Hatay and Kahramanmaras provinces.
Monday's earthquake is believed to be the strongest in Türkiye since the magnitude 7.9 eastern Erzincan province quake of 1939, which killed 33,000 people. ■