Nearly 5,000 dead from earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

Nearly 5,000 people have died as a consequence of the succession of earthquakes registered this Monday in the south of Turkey, near the border with Syria, according to updated balances of victims provided by the authorities of both countries.

Search and rescue efforts continuedue to the magnitude of the disaster, after the earthquake that has completely destroyed thousands of buildings, for which the number of victims is expected to increase considerably both in Turkey and in Syria.

On the one hand, the Turkish authorities have notified the death of 3,381 people, as well as 15,834 injuries, as reported by the president of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Yunus Sezer, collects the Anatolia agency.

AFAD calculates that more than 6,200 buildings have been completely destroyed, mainly as a consequence of the 7.4 earthquake that shook the country at dawn and a subsequent earthquake, already at noon, which reached magnitude 7.6.

Meanwhile, more than 24 hours after the earthquake occurred, four people – a mother and her three children – were rescued alive among the rubble of a building, according to the Turkish authorities.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out that the event has been “the biggest disaster since the 1939 earthquake”, which left more than 30 thousand dead. The authorities estimate that there have been more than a hundred aftershocks from the first major earthquake.

The president of United States, Joe Biden authorized the shipment of humanitarian aid to Turkey and the dispatch of additional teams to support Turkish search and rescue efforts. This was made known in a telephone conversation to his Turkish counterpart, to whom he reiterated the willingness of the United States to provide all possible assistance to Turkey to deal with the consequences of the earthquake.

On the other hand, the earthquake has left more than 769 dead and 1,450 injured in areas controlled by the Syrian government, according to provisional data from the Ministry of Health, which indicates that the victims are from the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Idlib and Tartus.

To the Syrian government figures we must add more than 700 dead and 2,000 wounded in rebel-held areas in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, in the northwest of the Arab country, according to the Syrian Civil Defense, known as the ‘white helmets’, through its account on Twitterwhere he lamented “the catastrophe and devastation” caused by the earthquake.

The ‘white helmets’ also called on “all humanitarian organizations and international organizations to provide material and assistance support” in order to “respond to this disaster and urgently help the victims of the earthquake.” Thus, they detailed that Some 210 buildings “have completely collapsed” due to the earthquake, while more than 440 have been “partially destroyed” and that “thousands more have suffered damage.”

In addition, at 8:26 a.m. (local time), the affected area felt a new earth movement. On this occasion, the earthquake has been 4.7.

The permanent representative of Syria to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh, informed the UN Secretary General, António Guterres Syrian efforts regarding the devastating earthquake, reported the Sana news agency.

In the letter, Sabbagh asked the member states and partners of the international organization “reach out in solidarity to support the efforts of the Syrian government to deal with the humanitarian disaster, especially with regard to the search for survivors and the rescue of those trapped under the rubble”.

The Syrian diplomat reaffirmed the country’s position to Coordinate with the United Nations to provide humanitarian aid to all serious across the country, emphasizing that Syria “stands ready to provide assistance” by cooperating “with those who wish to provide aid to Syrians.

On the other hand, they have reached Syrian territory the first planes with humanitarian aid for those affected by the earthquake. These are two Iraqi-flagged planes that have landed at Damascus International Airport. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry, which explained that “what happened to Syria” affected “everyone”, specified that each aircraft has 70 tons of food, medicine and blankets.

(With information from Europe Press)