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Magnitude 5.4 earthquake jolts Northwestern Syria

Damascus:  A magnitude 5.4 earthquake jolted the province of Idlib in northwestern Syria on Thursday night, the Syrian National Earthquake Center reported.

The earthquake, which struck at 10:47 p.m. local time, has a depth of 18.8 km. Its epicenter was 61 km from the city of Idlib, the capital of the namesake province.

The earthquake could be felt in the Syrian capital Damascus and the northern province of Aleppo, Xinhua news agency reported.

Another magnitude 3.4 earthquake hit the northwestern coastal province of Latakia at 11:17 p.m. local time. With a depth of 46 km, the second quake’s epicenter is 50 km from Latakia, the capital of the namesake province.

Local people in the coastal province saw dust falling from walls in their buildings and ran out to the streets in panic, witnesses told the news agency by phone. People in many Syrian areas took to the streets after the tremors, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Northern Syria was hit hard by the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes centered in southeastern Turkey on February 6.

The Syrian Health Ministry announced on Tuesday that the final death toll from the earthquake that hit Syria stands at 1,414, while the number of injured people reached 2,357.

The ministry’s count of quake casualties only includes the quake-hit areas under government control.

Meanwhile, the latest statistics from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights showed that the quake killed about 7,000 people in Syria’s government- and rebel-held areas.

(IANS Inputs)

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