Turkey-Syria Quake:

Death Toll Exceeds 5,000 amid Race to Find Survivors

12:58 - February 07, 2023
News ID: 3482384
TEHRAN (IQNA) – The death toll of two massive earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have surpassed 5,000 as rescue teams are working to find those who have been trapped under rubble.

Massive earthquake affect northern Syrian regions


Thousands of search and rescue workers have been dispatched by the Turkish government, while the United States, European Union, Iran, the United Kingdom, Russia, and South Korea are sending resources and teams to assist in rescue and relief operations.

Turkey and Syria will also be receiving aid from Gulf countries. The United Arab Emirates said it would dispatch search and rescue teams to both countries, establish a field hospital in Turkey and send emergency supplies to Syria. Dubai also pledged $13m in humanitarian aid to Syria. Qatar has said it was sending a search and rescue team and hospital equipment to Turkey.

The next few hours will be critical for the survival of those still stuck under the rubble, as near-freezing temperatures in the region could expose survivors to hypothermia.

At least 3,419 people were killed and 20,534 others injured in 10 provinces of Turkey, according to Anadolu Agency. More than 1,600 people have also been killed in Syria.

And the death toll is expected to increase significantly.

"There’s continued potential of further collapses to happen, so we do often see in the order of eight-fold increases on the initial numbers," Catherine Smallwood, the World Health Organization’s senior emergency officer for Europe, told AFP.

The earthquakes on Monday were the deadliest in Turkey since 1999, when an earthquake in Kocaeli killed more than 17,000 people. The country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared a seven-day period of mourning on Monday.

Damage to infrastructure 

In addition to the earthquakes killing thousands, they have also severely damaged the infrastructure in southern Turkey and northern Syria. In Turkey alone, the quakes affected 10 cities where approximately 13.5 million people reside, destroying at least 6,000 buildings.

And despite the pouring in of assistance from other countries, the UN has warned that damaged roads, fuel shortages, and harsh winter weather have created serious obstacles for UN agencies to provide aid to millions of Syrian refugees.

"The infrastructure is damaged, the roads that we used to use for humanitarian work are damaged, we have to be creative in how to get to the people... but we are working hard," UN resident coordinator El-Mostafa Benlamlih told Reuters.



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