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Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll rises above 35,000

Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll rises above 35,000

author avatar
13 Feb 2023 - 18:10
Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll rises above 35,000
author avatar
13 Feb 2023 - 18:10

ATLANTA (Pajhwok): The toll from last week’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria rose above 35,000 on Monday, as rescue teams started to wind down the search for survivors and the aid effort shifted to hundreds of thousands of people made homeless.

Another more than 90,000 people were injured in the tremors that struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6.

The magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 quakes reduced much of towns and cities inhabited by millions to fragments of concrete and twisted metal.

Eight days after the tremor, Turkish media reported a handful of people were still being pulled from the rubble as excavators dug through ruined cities.

The confirmed death toll rose to 35,224 as officials and medics said 31,643 people had died in Turkey and 3,581 in Syria after the February 6 earthquake, the fifth deadliest since the start of the 21st century.

The United Nations has decried the failure to ship desperately needed aid to war-torn regions of Syria and warned that the toll is set to rise even higher as experts caution that hopes for finding people alive dim with each passing day.

“Send any stuff you can because there are millions of people here and they all need to be fed,” Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu appealed to Turks late Sunday.

In Kahramanmaras, close to the epicentre, 30,000 tents have been installed, 48,000 people are sheltering in schools and another 11,500 in sports halls, he said.

While hundreds of rescue teams were still working, efforts had ended in seven parts of the province, he added.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay late Sunday said 108,000 buildings were damaged across the quake-hit zone with 1.2 million people being housed in student accommodation and 400,000 people evacuated from the affected region.

Aid packages, mainly clothes, were opened and spread across the streets in Hatay province, according to NTV. One video showed aid workers throwing clothes randomly into a crowd as people tried to grab whatever they could.

A convoy with supplies for northwest Syria arrived via Turkey, but the UN’s relief chief Martin Griffiths said more was needed for millions whose homes were destroyed.

In Turkey, more than 82,000 people were and about 95,000 people were rescued from the rubbles of destroyed buildings.

Local officials said some victims were rescued after 170 hours of the earthquake.

The Turkish government said 66 national and international rescue teams participated in the rescue operations.

Local sources said 200 aftershocks were felt after the two powerful earthquakes.

Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the earthquakes killed 4574 people in Syria and injured more than 5,000.

About 3,000 fatalities occurred in the rebel-held Syria and 1440 deaths in areas under the control of the Syrian government.

The Afghanistan Embassy in Turkey had confirmed the deaths of 80 Afghans in the disaster.

aw/ma

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