Photos: Powerful Turkey, Syria earthquake leaves collapsed buildings, thousands dead

More than 2,300 people have died after a devastating, historic 7.8 magnitude earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria, leaving destruction and debris and trapping hundreds of residents under rubble.

The quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than a 100 years, struck 23 km east of Nurdagi, in Turkey's Gaziantep province, the US Geological Survey said.

Authorities feared the death toll would rise further as rescuers searched through tangles of metal and concrete for survivors in a region beset by more than a decade of Syria’s civil war and a refugee crisis.

Warning: Images in this gallery are disturbing and depict death and destruction