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Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll approaches 10,000

Meticulous rescue teams worked through the night into Wednesday to rescue more bodies from the rubble of thousands of collapsed buildings in Turkey and Syria. devastating earthquake And almost 10,000 people died in the aftershocks. Their grueling work was occasionally interrupted by the joy of finding someone alive.

Turkey’s disaster management agency said the country’s death toll rose to 7,108 as more bodies were recovered. Syrian officials said 1,267 lives had been lost and the White Helmets, a volunteer organization that operates in rebel-held areas of Syria, said 1,280 had died there, bringing the total to 9,655. Tens of thousands more were injured and many more left homeless.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to travel to the town of Pazardjik, the epicenter of the quake, and the worst-hit Hatay province on Wednesday, as the government calls for more aid to be sent to the affected areas. I got

Turkey now has about 79,000 aid personnel in the earthquake zone, the Disaster Management Agency (AFAD) said, according to Reuters. However, with widespread devastation, many are still waiting for help.

Aftermath of deadly earthquake in Kahramammaras
A child watches after the devastating earthquake in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, on February 8, 2023.


Nearly two days after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, rescuers pulled Arif Khan, a three-year-old boy, from under the rubble of a collapsed apartment in Kahramanmaras, a city not far from the epicenter. raised.

With the boy’s lower body trapped under a slab of concrete and twisting rebar, paramedics covered his torso with a blanket to protect him from freezing temperatures and potentially trigger another collapse. Lay down and carefully separate the debris from him.

When his son was rescued and taken to an ambulance, the boy’s father, Ertugrul Kisi himself, had been rescued earlier and sobbed.

“For now, Kahramammaras’ preferred name is Arif Kaan.

Hours later, rescuers pulled 10-year-old Betul Edith from the rubble of his home in Adiyaman city. To the applause of her onlookers, her grandfather kissed and spoke softly to her as she was loaded into her ambulance.

The White Helmets tweeted another rescue video:

But such stories were scarce in the more than two days since Monday’s pre-dawn quake.

Search teams from more than 20 countries joined Turkey’s emergency services and were flooded with pledges of help.

But as devastation spreads to cities and towns, some of which are stranded by the ongoing Syrian civil war, the cries have subsided amidst the rubble and desperation has risen among those still awaiting help.

In Syria, tremors knocked down thousands of buildings, wreaking further misery in devastated areas. 12-year civil war in the country and the refugee crisis.

On Monday afternoon, residents in a town in northwestern Syria found a crying newborn with the umbilical cord still attached to his dead mother. The baby was the only member of her family to survive a building collapse in the small town of Jinderis, relatives told the Associated Press.

Turkey is home to millions of refugees from the war. Syria’s affected areas are divided between government-controlled territory and the last opposition-held enclaves in the country, where millions of people rely on humanitarian aid.

Thousands dead after earthquake hits Turkey and Syria
Rescue workers carry 8-year-old survivor Igit Chakmak at the site of a collapsed building 52 hours after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Hatay, Turkey, on February 8, 2023.

Getty Images

Adelheid Marchand, senior emergency officer at the World Health Organization, said as many as 23 million people could be affected in the quake-hit areas, which he called “multiple crises. called a crisis.

Many survivors in Turkey had to sleep in cars, outdoors or in government shelters.

“We have no tent, no stove, nothing. Our children are sick. We are all wet in the rain and the children are outside in the cold.” 27 years old “We will not die of hunger or an earthquake, but we will freeze to death from the cold,” Aisan Kurt of , told The Associated Press.

Erdogan said 13 million of the country’s 85 million people were affected and declared a state of emergency in 10 states. More than 8,000 people were pulled from the rubble in Turkey and about 380,000 took refuge in government shelters and hotels, officials said.

In Syria, aid efforts are hampered by the ongoing war and the isolation of rebel-held areas along the border surrounded by Russian-backed government forces. Syria itself is an international pariah under Western sanctions related to the war.

The United Nations said it was “exploring all means” to bring supplies to the rebel-held northwest.

The region lies on a major fault line and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. A similar earthquake in northwestern Turkey in 1999 killed about 18,000 people.

How to help earthquake victims: Click here for details Links to several reputable aid agencies helping earthquake survivors in both Turkey and Syria.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/turkey-syria-earthquakes-death-toll-nears-9000/ Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll approaches 10,000

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