Rescue efforts continue a week after Turkey, Syria earthquakes
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Rescue efforts continue a week after Turkey, Syria earthquakes

Rescue efforts continue a week after Turkey, Syria earthquakes

The death toll in Turkey and Syria from the earthquakes and major aftershocks rose above 35,000


With chances of finding more survivors growing more remote, the toll in Turkey and Syria from the earthquake and major aftershocks rose above 35,000.

International teams are working on the ground to help the rescue and search operations currently under way in the aftermath of the quakes across Turkey’s southern provinces.

More than a week after the first quake struck, emergency workers still found a handful of people clinging to life in the wreckage of homes that had become tombs for many thousands.

Last week, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said that the devastating earthquakes that decimated parts of Turkey and Syria are “one of the biggest natural disasters in our times,” reported Anadolu Agency.

“We mourn the loss of so many – and the tragic toll keeps growing. Thousands of buildings have collapsed. Tens of thousands of people are exposed to unforgiving winter conditions. Schools and hospitals have been destroyed. Children are enduring terrible trauma,” Guterres told reporters at the UN’s New York headquarters.

“We are sadly aware that we haven’t yet seen the full extent of the damage and of the humanitarian crisis unfolding before our eyes,” he added.

At least 17,674 people were killed in Turkey and 72,879 injured in the 10 affected provinces.

In neighboring Syria, over 3,300 people have so far been confirmed killed in the country’s northwest, and over 5,200 injured.

Turkey, Syria quakes

An earthquake measuring 5.6 magnitude struck the central Turkey region on February 7, just hours after the country and Syria were struck by three devastating quakes.

Rescuers in countries have intensified searches, hoping to pull more survivors from the rubble.

Turkey’s disaster management agency, AFAD, has set up a tent city in the country’s southern Kahramanmaras province for people who have been left homeless.

Food and medical supplies are being transferred to the province and volunteers are coming from hundreds of kilometres to help the affected.

Erdogan has declared a state of emergency — that will last for three months — in 10 provinces affected by the quake.

The epicentre of the first quake was near Nurdagi in Gaziantep province, the Syrian border.

Another two quakes occurred in Kahramanmaraş, a province nearby.

Erdogan has also declared seven days of national mourning, during which the Turkish flag will fly at half-mast across the nation and at its foreign representations.

Third earthquake hits Turkey at 3:02pm

A third earthquake of magnitude 6.0 hit Goksun, Turkey on February 6, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has reported.

Death toll from powerful earthquakes in southern Turkey rose to 1,541, 9,733 others injured, said Oktay.

Second earthquake hits Turkey at 1:24pm

According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, a second earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck central Turkey on February 6.

The quake’s epicentre was in Kahramanmaras province, AFAD said.

Aftershocks were felt in Qamishli, which is situated in northeastern Syria.

Denmark Geological Institute reported that the tremors were felt as far away as Greenland.

AFAD has reported that a total of 9,698 search and rescue personnel and 216 vehicles were deployed in the quake-affected region.

A total of 300,000 blankets, 19,772 tents, 24,172 beds, 47,176 pillow-sheet sets and 1,106 kitchen sets were sent to the region, AFAD said on Twitter, reported TRT World Now.

First earthquake hits Turkey, Syria at 4:17am

A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 occurred at 04:17 local time on February 6, at a depth of 17.9km near the city of Gaziantep, Turkey officials reported.

The earthquake was about 30 kilometres west, northwest of Gaziantep, and 114 kilometres north-northwest of Aleppo, Syria.

The initial quake was centred in Kahramanmaras province’s Pazarcik district and affected provinces Hatay, Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis, according to Turkey’s Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu.

Erdogan said that the death toll from the quake that hit the country’s southern region early on Monday has risen to 912.

The President also reported that 5,383 people were injured, while over 2,000 people were saved from the rubble.

A total of 1,710 buildings were collapsed after the earthquake, Oktay said at a news conference.

Nearly 900 buildings were destroyed in Türkiye’s Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras provinces, he said.

A hospital collapsed in the Mediterranean coastal city of Iskanderoun, but casualties were not immediately known, he added.

In Syria at least 427 people have been killed by the quake, Turkish public broadcaster TRT World has reported.

Meanwhile, operations at Turkey’s oil terminal in Ceyhan have halted, the Tribeca shipping agency said. The nation’s pipeline operator Botas said there were no damages on main pipelines.

World leaders have expressed their condolences for Turkey and Syria, as well as their willingness to help the nation’s.

“The United States is profoundly concerned by the reports of today’s destructive earthquake in Türkiye and Syria,” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement, reported TRT World.

“We stand ready to provide any and all needed assistance,” he said, adding that President Joe Biden has directed USAID and other federal government partners to “assess US response options to help those most affected.”

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the government of Türkiye,” Sullivan said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that his country was ready to provide necessary assistance to “friendly” Turkish people in the aftermath of the earthquake.

“Shocked by the news about the death and injury of hundreds of people as a result of the earthquake in Türkiye,” Zelenskyy said on Twitter.

“We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and wish the injured a speedy recovery. We are in this moment close to the friendly Turkish people, ready to provide the necessary assistance.”

Azerbaijan is due to send a search and rescue team of 370 people to Türkiye, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations announced.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has offered condolences over the loss of lives and infrastructures in the earthquake and asserted that “Israel always stands ready to assist in every way possible.”

India has announced to send rescue and medical teams to Turkey.

Meanwhile, Qatari Emir Tamim al Thani has expressed his condolences during phone call with Erdogan.

“The UK is sending immediate support to Türkiye including a team of 76 search and rescue specialists, equipment and rescue dogs,” tweeted British FM James Cleverly.

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