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Rescuers in Turkey and Syria rush to find survivors as earthquake kills thousands

Rescuers in Turkey and Syria are racing to find survivors as the deadliest earthquake in 80 years devastated towns and cities across the region, killing nearly 5,000 and injuring more than 20,000. I was.

On Tuesday, authorities were pulling people out of the rubble in freezing temperatures in southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria, which had seen sporadic snowfall.

With more than 10,000 people and thousands of heavy equipment engaged in rescue operations and the humanitarian casualties mounting, aid organizations rushed to call in blood donors to provide basic necessities. Bad weather, poor road conditions and airport congestion made the rescue effort extremely difficult.

The effort An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 An attack near the Turkish city of Gaziantep early Monday morning left thousands of buildings collapsing over a vast area. After the initial quake, more than 300 aftershocks continued to rumble in the region, according to Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.

fatalities turkey According to the country’s disaster relief agency Ahfad, 3,419 people were injured and 20,426 injured. At least 769 people died in government-controlled areas. SyriaMore than 1,448 people were injured, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. In the rebel-held northwest, more than 790 people have been killed and more than 2,200 injured, according to the Syrian Civil Defense Forces, aid workers also known as the White Helmets. The total number of confirmed deaths in both countries is 4,940.

Experts say the poor quality of buildings in the area and their lack of earthquake resilience led to the massive destruction. U.S. Geological Survey scientist Kishor Jaiswal said many buildings were “not designed to absorb this much ground motion.”

“It’s hard to see this tragedy unfold, especially since it’s been known for a long time how well buildings in this area tend to perform poorly during earthquakes,” he added.

Turkish Red Crescent aid groups have been transporting emergency supplies “non-stop”, delivering mobile kitchens and catering facilities, as well as nearly 2,000 tents and 27,000 blankets to the affected areas. said.

Turkish rescue teams have been passing through Istanbul’s main airport since Monday, with many sleeping on the floor, head on helmets and sleeping bags while waiting for their flight.

Various Turkish aid groups have traveled to cities, including Adana, to join efforts to clear the rubble and rescue those trapped under it.

“We have to do all we can,” said Sinan Aksoy, 34, a firefighter who is heading to the southern city with a group of about 50 volunteers. “We are taking our time to find someone alive.”

Turkey’s central bank has ordered local financial institutions not to charge transaction fees for transfers to accounts collecting earthquake relief supplies, easing the terms of certain types of credit offered to businesses in the disaster area. Did.

https://www.ft.com/content/afbd1f50-0e6f-4d51-89ff-9772c5354d9b Rescuers in Turkey and Syria rush to find survivors as earthquake kills thousands

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