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Earthquake death toll rises in Turkey and Syria



Rescuers in Turkey and northern Syria battled time and cold on Tuesday to search rubble for survivors of Monday’s devastating earthquake.

International aid should begin arriving in areas affected by the quake and its aftershocks on Tuesday. Early Monday morning, the first tremor reached a magnitude of 7.8 and was felt as far as Lebanon, Cyprus and northern Iraq.

In Turkey, the death toll has reached 3,419 with 20,534 injured, Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Tuesday.

At least 1,602 people have been killed and 3,640 injured in Syria, according to estimates by Damascus authorities and rescuers in rebel areas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 earthquake-hit southeastern provinces.

Based on maps of the affected areas, World Health Organization (WHO) official Adelheid Marchand said it “includes 5 million vulnerable people” and “23 million people are exposed to the effects of the earthquake.” It pointed out.

“This is a race against time,” warned the agency’s executive director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Sometimes bare-handed, rescuers continued to search for survivors all night, braving the dangers of cold, rain, snow, and further landslides.

In the Syrian town of Zindires on the border with Turkey, a newborn baby with the umbilical cord still attached to its dead mother was found alive in the rubble of a building.

Further south in Aleppo, Mahmoud al-Ali waits by a destroyed building. “My mother-in-law, father-in-law, and two children[are locked up],” he says. “We are sitting here in the cold and rain, waiting for the rescuers to start digging.”

A 7-year-old girl was rescued from a pile of rubble in Hatay, southern Turkey. “Where’s Mom?” said a girl in dusty pink pajamas, in her warden’s arms.

Ghanaian footballer Christian Atu, a former Malaga and Chelsea player who signed for Hataispor in September, was found alive among the wreckage of the building.

international first aid

Severe weather in the Anatolian region is complicating rescue efforts and threatening the prospects of survivors staying warm in tents and makeshift bonfires.

International aid to Turkey arrived on Tuesday, with the first rescue teams expected to arrive from France and Qatar.

US President Joe Biden has promised his Turkish counterparts “all the help they need, whatever it takes.”

The French contingent is expected to reach the epicenter Kahra Mammaras, which is difficult to access and buried in snow.

China announced a shipment of $5.9 million in aid on Tuesday. This includes groups dedicated to the relief of urban environments, medical teams and emergency supplies.

According to Erdogan, 45 countries have offered to help.

Instead, a call initiated by the Syrian government from its ally Moscow promised a rescue team “within the next few hours,” with a further 300 Russian soldiers already pledging to assist in the rescue.

The United Nations also responded, arguing that aid must reach all of Syria’s population, including parts not under Damascus’ control.

The Syrian Red Crescent has called on the European Union to lift sanctions against the regime.

sleeping rough

Balances on both sides of the border have not stopped increasing and, given the scale of the destruction, are likely to follow the same trend.

In Turkey alone, authorities counted about 5,000 collapsed buildings.

In addition, the sudden drop in temperature poses a risk of hypothermia for the injured and those trapped in the debris.

Up to 185 aftershocks were recorded on Monday, in addition to two major quakes. One is magnitude 7.8 at midnight (04H17 local) and the other is magnitude 7.5 at noon.

Aftershocks continued into the early hours of Tuesday. The strongest magnitude 5.5 occurred at 06:13 local time (03:13 GMT), 9 km southeast of Gyorbasi (southern Turkey).

Turkish authorities have set up gyms, schools and mosques to house survivors. However, fearing new earthquakes, many residents preferred to spend the night outdoors.

“Everyone is afraid,” said Mustafa Koyunk, 55, who spent the night in his car in Sanlıurfa (southeast Turkey) with his wife and five children.

It is the most significant earthquake in Turkey since the August 17, 1999 earthquake that killed 17,000 people.

Source: Diario.Elmundo

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