Two powerful earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria within the space of 12 hours have killed thousands and damaged critical infrastructure.

The scale of the destruction and the total number injured or killed is not yet known.

Turkey Syria Earthquake Cloudflare
– Cloudflare

The Turkish city of Gaziantep is among the worst hit, with Internet traffic tracker Cloudflare Radar finding that traffic was 57 percent lower compared to the same time in the previous week.

"There is a clear ongoing Internet traffic disruption," Cloudflare said.

Just north of Gaziantep, in the Kahramanmaraş Province, traffic fell by 94 percent following the second earthquake.

Traffic drops are also visible in the provinces of Şanlıurfa, Kilis, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Diyarbakır, Malatya, Mardin, and Adana.

Telecoms company Turkcell said that it was sending "mobile base stations, generators, and mobile vehicles that have satellite service" into impacted areas, along with teams from surrounding areas.

State-owned Türk Telekom said that it has also dispatched base stations, and said that its 105-person Türk Telekom Search and Rescue Team had deployed in the area.

Both telecoms companies said that they were making domestic mobile and landline calls free, as well as WiFi hotspots in affected regions. However, the operators called on citizens to only use the phone for emergency calls.

The Turkish government reportedly declined an offer for SpaceX's Starlink dishes, which are not licensed in the country, claiming they had sufficient satellite connectivity.

In Syria, the situation is less clear. With the civil war that has been waged for the past 11 years, Internet and other critical infrastructure has long been in decline.

Cloudflare notes a drop in connectivity, but many of the regions impacted by the earthquake already had limited Internet access. We will update this story as we learn more.

Charities have called for donations to help those impacted by the earthquakes.

They include: Human Appeal, the International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation, and the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations.