Death Toll Exceeds 4,000 After Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria!
After severe earthquakes killed over 4,600 people and collapsed structures across southeast Turkey and northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared seven days of national mourning and Syria asked the United Nations for assistance.
As rescuers searched for survivors among tangles of metal and concrete across a region already suffering from Syria’s 12-year civil war and a refugee crisis, authorities feared the death toll from Monday’s predawn temblor, followed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake and several aftershocks, would continue to rise.
Those trapped under the rubble screamed out for aid as rescuers worked through the night and into Tuesday morning. There were 3,381 fatalities, according to Orhan Tatar of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), who also reported 20,426 injuries. Moreover, Tatar claimed that over 5,700 structures had been obliterated.
On Monday night, the Ministry of Health and the White Helmets rescue group said that 1,300 people had been killed in Syria. any thousands of people in the region were injured and left homeless by the earthquake, and now they must deal with the harsh winter cold and snowfall.
Damaged infrastructure has made it difficult to search for survivors and deliver lifesaving help to the areas hit worst by the disaster. Sinem Koseoglu, reporting for Al Jazeera from Istanbul, has stated that millions of people require assistance.
Since we are now in the midst of winter with its accompanying frigid temperatures, snow, and rain, their demand is unquestionably pressing. The Al Jazeera reporter in Istanbul, Natasha Ghoneim, said that ten cities in southern Turkey had been declared disaster areas.
Slick snow and subzero temperatures have slowed rescue efforts, and more bad weather is on the way. Many places have lost access to electricity and natural gas, and the administration is striving to get them back up as soon as possible.
Ghoneim said Tuesday morning that “a comprehensive image of the disaster is only starting to emerge,” adding that the extent of the destruction “will certainly become more clear as the sun rises.” On Monday, the region was shaken again by seismic activity, this time by a tremor nearly as strong as the initial earthquake.
The USGS placed the original quake’s magnitude at 7.8, and its depth at 18 kilometers (11 miles). A 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred several hours later. Multiple stories of an apartment building in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa collapsed onto the street in a cloud of dust as terrified onlookers yelled, as seen on camera.
Turkish TV broadcast dramatic live-action video of buildings crumbling. Pictures showed rescuers rescuing a youngster from the rubble of a building. Amidst the snow, the child was reunited with his or her grieving parents.
Orhan Tatar, an official with Turkey’s disaster management organization, has stated that around 7,800 individuals in 10 regions have been rescued. Rescue personnel said that hospitals and clinics were soon reaching capacity with patients who had sustained injuries.
The Syrian American Medical Society, which operates hospitals in northern Syria and southern Turkey, issued a statement saying that its facilities were “overwhelmed” with patients and that “trauma supplies and a comprehensive emergency response to save lives and treat the injured” were desperately needed. Turkey and Syria have been receiving a large influx of resources from governments and charity organizations.
On King Abdullah II’s orders, Jordan is sending emergency supplies to Syria and Turkey, and Egypt has promised emergency humanitarian assistance to Turkey. Due to financial constraints, the government of Lebanon is sending rescue workers to Turkey from the Red Cross and the Civil Defense.
Emergency response teams have been activated across the European Union, and the Copernicus satellite system has been put into rapid operation to provide mapping in the event of a disaster.
Thirteen of the members have already offered help. The United States and the United Kingdom have both stated their willingness to send aid to Syria, however, the Obama administration has rejected direct negotiations with the Syrian government.
The German foreign ministry has said that it is preparing the shipment of emergency generators, tents, blankets, and water treatment equipment in coordination with EU partners.
The United States is helping NATO member Turkey immediately by coordinating aid, such as search and rescue teams. About a hundred firefighters and structural engineers from Los Angeles County, together with six specially trained canines, were dispatched to Turkey to aid with the rescue efforts.
The Russian military in Syria has already sent 10 units totaling 300 people to help clear rubble and search for survivors, and now Russian rescue teams from the Emergencies Ministry are planning to fly there to join the effort. Distribution centers for humanitarian aid have been put up by the Russian military. Support from Russia has been acknowledged by Turkey.
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