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Earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria scale back as survivors struggle to survive and death toll rises

hatay south turkey — Monster Survivor when temperatures drop below freezing at night Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria Burn the wood you pick up from a destroyed house to keep warm. A wealthy and comfortable family just a week or so ago now lives in a donated tent set up in a local park.

Much of Antakya in southeastern Turkey has become a place of misery and deep uncertainty. There I met engineering student Abdul Rahman and his family. Already refugees, they were forced to flee their homeland of Aleppo. Syrian civil war.

Now they are homeless again.

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“We will leave this city and start over,” Rahman said. “We’re fine. We’re used to a tough life.”

Few people in southern Turkey were prepared for the level of devastation brought by the powerful earthquake. Hundreds of makeshift camps have popped up across the country. Aid is available, but the situation of survivors is getting worse by the day. Garbage piles up because there is no one to collect it.

On Tuesday, eight days after the deadly earthquake struck, stories of a strange rescue were still floated. An 18-year-old man was dragged from the twisted steel and concrete of a demolished building in southern Turkey hours after his two brothers were rescued from a collapsed apartment building. At least two people were reportedly rescued in southern Turkey on Tuesday.

Turkey/Syria earthquake
Turkish rescue workers check a collapsed building in Adiyaman, southern Turkey, on February 11, 2023.

Photo by Emra Grell/AP

But in both Turkey and Syria, efforts were increasingly turning from rescue to recovery.

The old city of Hatay in southern Turkey was once a thriving old town. It remains unrecognizable and uninhabitable.

The Turkish government has promised to rebuild all damaged and destroyed buildings across the country within a year, but few believe it will come true. Survivors have other more pressing concerns, such as burying the dead.

February 6, 2023 Turkey earthquake epicenter map (English version)
The map shows the epicenters of the two large earthquakes that hit southern Turkey on February 6, 2023. A magnitude 7.8 quake first struck in the early morning just near the country’s southern border with Syria, followed by another powerful quake over the course of about nine hours. later.


The overall death toll from the quake, which struck in the early morning hours of February 6 with a magnitude of 7.8 and a second quake of magnitude 7.5 about nine hours later, reached more than 37,300 on Tuesday. Over 31,000 people died. one turkey.

On Tuesday, residents of Hatay and other destroyed towns and villages were focused on burying loved ones and neighbors who did not survive. Many were placed in mass graves, dug hastily along the sides of highways, or wherever ground could be carved out.

A makeshift graveyard stretched as far as the eye could see, and the crew was busy digging further.

The United Nations estimates that the overall death toll could exceed 50,000 by the time recovery work is completed, but with so many bodies buried beneath the rubble heaps of wreckage, the disaster is likely to continue. It may never be clear the human damage caused by

Syria opens borders for aid

Delays in the arrival of international aid across the border have exacerbated a dire situation in war-torn northern Syria, but the pace picked up on Tuesday morning as new routes into the country became available. I had hopes that it would be possible.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths visited Aleppo on Monday, acknowledging that relief efforts are “coming to an end”, providing shelter and food to survivors and returning children to school. focused on.

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There is only one border crossing from Turkey to Syria, which has been open for years, as rebels still control a good portion of the country. Delivering rescue and relief supplies to Syria’s seismic zone has been painfully slow. Frustration and anger are mounting in the freezing winter cold that people who are already hard to live with have been left with nothing and have been waiting for help for more than a week.

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to open two more borders from Turkey to northern Syria, hoping more aid will soon reach earthquake victims in the region.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed President Assad’s decision and said the crosswalks would remain open for at least three months “to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian aid”.

“It is of the utmost urgency to reach the millions of affected people with food, health, nutrition, protection, shelter, winter supplies and other life-saving supplies,” Guterres said in a statement.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/turkey-syria-earthquake-death-toll-rescue-efforts-wind-down-survivors-struggle/ Earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria scale back as survivors struggle to survive and death toll rises

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