Ankara. More than 36,000 people have died since the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria a week ago. Whereas, more than one lakh people have been injured. Many cities are deserted and turned into concrete rubble. In such a situation, the death toll is likely to rise even higher.
Most of the devastation caused by the earthquake occurred in Turkey. So far more than 31,643 people have lost their lives here. 4,614 people have died in Syria. There have been a total of 36,257 deaths in both countries.
#TurkeySyriaEarthquake | According to The Associated Press, more than 35,000 people have died so far due to powerful earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The death toll continues to rise amid widespread devastation.
—ANI (@ANI) February 13, 2023
Thousands of people made homeless by the quake piled into tents and lined the streets for hot meals on Monday. At the same time, the search operation has entered its final phase to rescue the survivors who are still buried under the rubble. Rescue teams pulled a four-year-old girl alive from the rubble in Adiyaman, which was severely affected by the quake.
Thousands of local and foreign teams, including Turkish coal miners and experts, search for survivors trapped in the rubble with sniffer dogs and thermal cameras. Experts have said that with nighttime temperatures dropping to minus six degrees Celsius and many buildings completely collapsed, the chances of finding survivors in the rubble are now slim.
Earthquake victim Zehra Kurukafa said not enough tents had arrived for the homeless, forcing people to take shelter in available tents. Turkish officials said on Monday that more than 150,000 earthquake victims have been evacuated from the affected provinces.
Growing public anger in Turkey over the government’s lack of aid for earthquake victims could exacerbate the political problems of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is running for re-election in May. Meanwhile, rescue teams in Turkey pulled a 40-year-old woman from the rubble of a building on Monday. Notably, on February 6, earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 occurred in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.
On Monday, rescuers pulled a 40-year-old woman from the rubble of a five-story building in the city of Iaslahiye, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province. A woman named Sibel Kaya was able to get out after 170 hours of effort. The rescue operation also involved the Turkish coal mine rescue team. Earlier, a 60-year-old woman named Erengul Ondar was also pulled from the rubble in the town of Besani in Adiyaman province. Manisa City Mayor Cengiz Ergun said in a tweet: “We received news of a miracle from Besni, which keeps our hope alive.”
Syrian officials say the baby girl a woman gave birth to while trapped in rubble is doing well. Aya, a girl, was pulled from the rubble a few hours after the earthquake. The hospital director’s wife is breastfeeding him.
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Eduardo Reynoso Angulo, a professor at the Institute of Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the chances of finding people alive “now are very, very low.” David Alexander, professor of emergency planning and management at University College London, agreed, saying the chances of finding survivors in the rubble had all but disappeared. In Syria, Martin Griffiths, the UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Assistance, said the international community had not provided any help.
“The Syrians are waiting for international help, which has not yet arrived,” said Martin, who is visiting the Turkey-Syria border. The death toll in the rebel-held northwestern region of Syria has risen to 2,166, according to the White Helmets rescue group. The total number of people who lost their lives in the earthquake in Syria stood on Saturday at 3,553. At the same time, the total death toll in Turkey stood at 29,605 on Sunday. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said in the Syrian capital Damascus that conflicts, covid, cholera, the economic crisis and now earthquakes have increased the humanitarian tragedy. (with agency contributions)