Nearly 5,000 dead in Turkey and Syria from devastating earthquakes

The numbers of deaths and injuries continue to increase as a result of the devastating earthquakes registered this Monday in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria. According to updated balances of victims provided by the authorities of both countries, there are already almost 5,000 people who have lost their lives, 3,381 in Turkey and at least 1,509 in Syria.

Search and rescue work continues, due to the magnitude of the disaster, after the earthquake that has completely destroyed thousands of buildings, which is expected to increase the number of victims considerably in both Turkey and Syria.

On the one hand, the Turkish authorities have notified the death of 3,381 people, as well as 20,400 injuriesas reported by the president of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Yunus Sezer, collects the Anatolia agency.

The Turkish authorities have reported the death of 3,381 people, as well as 15,834 injuries

AFAD calculates that more than 6,200 buildings have been completely destroyedmainly as a consequence of the 7.7 earthquake that shook the country at dawn and a subsequent earthquake, already at noon, which reached magnitude 7.6 on the Richter scale.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay reported last night that some 7,800 had been rescued from the rubble, while work continues amid technical difficulties. This morning, a 30-year-old man was pulled alive from the rubble of a building, nearly 30 hours after the tremors began. A mother and her three children have also been found alive after 28 hours trapped.

Some 7,800 have been rescued from the rubble in Turkey

Nails 25,000 people, including soldiers, are taking part in the rescue efforts, Afad said. The Government has allocated 12.1 million euros (13.3 million dollars) in urgent funds for the ten most affected provinces. In addition, dozens of countries have already begun sending hundreds of rescuers and experts in search of survivors.

350,000 people relocated

The Vice President of Turkey, Fuat Otkay indicated that more than 350,000 earthquake victims have been housed in university centers, shelters and student residences.

Seriously injured are also being evacuated by plane to medical centers in Istanbul and Ankara, and ten boats are also transferring victims from the port of Iskenderún, southeast of where the epicenter was recorded, to other areas.

Local authorities have reported cuts in gas and electricity supply in some areas

To the population of the affected areas, where 15 million people live, they have been told not to enter their homes. The low temperatures and the snow in the area, where there are also mountainous territories that are difficult to access, complicate the rescue tasks.

Local authorities have reported cuts in gas and electricity supplies in some areas, and the state oil company has cut oil supplies to the region as a “precautionary measure.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that the event has been “the biggest disaster since the 1939 earthquake”, which left more than 30,000 dead. The authorities estimate that there have been more than a hundred aftershocks from the first major earthquake.

More than 1,500 deaths in Syria

Meanwhile, in Syria at least 1,509 people have died and 3,548 have been injured. The official Syrian news agency SANA said, citing the Ministry of Health, that the death toll has risen to 769, while the number of injuries has risen to 1,448 in areas controlled by the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. The most affected provinces are Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, the outskirts of Idlib and Tartus, according to the source.

In Syria at least 1,509 people have been killed and 3,548 injured

“The alert continues in all public and private health facilities, and all health cadres are working to the maximum of their capacity, and the continuous response is being coordinated in the various governorates,” reads a statement from the Syrian Health Ministry. on his Facebook profile.

On the other hand, the White Helmets, a rescue group operating in opposition-held areas of Syria, indicated in their latest update that 740 dead and 2,100 injured in the northwestern province of Idlibthe country’s last opposition stronghold, and in other parts of neighboring Aleppo that are also beyond Damascus’ control.

Citizens look for possible survivors under the rubble of a building collapsed by the earthquake in Aleppo (Syria) on February 6, 2023. Firas Makdesi / REUTERS

The White Helmets have also called on “all humanitarian organizations and international organizations to provide material and assistance support to the organizations” in order to “respond to this disaster and urgently help the victims of the earthquake “. Thus, they have detailed that some 210 buildings “have completely collapsed” because of the earthquake, while more than 440 have been “partially destroyed” and that “thousands more have suffered damage.”

In addition, at 8:26 a.m. (local time), the affected area felt a new earth movement. On this occasion, the earthquake has been 4.7 on the Richter scale.

Request for help

Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbaghhas described to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, the Syrian efforts regarding the devastating earthquake, as reported by the Sana news agency.

In the letter, Sabbagh has asked the Member States and the partners of the international organization “reach out in solidarity to support the efforts of the Syrian government to deal with the humanitarian disaster, especially with regard to the search for survivors and the rescue of those trapped under the rubble”.

The first planes with humanitarian aid for those affected by the earthquake have arrived in Syrian territory

The Syrian diplomat has reaffirmed the country’s position to coordinate with the United Nations to provide humanitarian aid to all serious throughout the country, stressing that Syria “stands ready to provide assistance” through cooperation “with those who wish to provide aid to the Syrians.

On the other hand, the first planes with humanitarian aid for those affected by the earthquake have arrived in Syrian territory. Is about two planes with Iraqi flag, who have landed at Damascus International Airport. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry, which has explained that “what happened to Syria” affected “everyone”, has specified that each aircraft has 70 tons of food, medicine and blankets. However, opposition-dominated areas are not expected to receive this aid.

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