The powerful twin earthquakes which hit southern Türkiye this week were three times stronger than the major 1999 Marmara earthquake in the country’s northwest, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday. “They were three times more powerful and destructive than the 1999 earthquake, which was recorded as the biggest disaster in our country’s history,” Erdogan said in the southeastern Diyarbakir province, a quake-hit area he is visiting to inspect search and rescue efforts. “They are also recorded to be much larger and more destructive disaster than the 1939 Erzincan earthquake,” he added. The Erzincan quake in eastern Türkiye took some 33,000 lives, while the 1999 Marmara earthquake took some 18,000. Erdogan later visited Sanliurfa and said at least 21,848 people have been killed and 80,104 others injured since the twin earthquakes, centered in Kahramanmaras province, hit southern Türkiye on Monday. “Currently, 160,000 personnel are working in 10 provinces, together with teams from abroad,” said Erdogan, who also met with quake victims in Diyarbakir and Sanliurfa. The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes affected more than 13 million people across 10 provinces, including Hatay, Gaziantep, Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.