Earthquake deaths approach 47,000: Searches in Turkey will end soon
Nuray Lydia Oglu, Kanako Mita, and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
The relentless death toll in the earthquake that hit Gaziantep in south-eastern Turkey with a magnitude of 7.8 is now approaching 47,000 people. However, the number of deaths will increase dramatically in Turkey and Syria once rescue operations cease.
Hence, missing people will soon be counted in the final death toll. Also, all hope will soon be lost – despite some people still being rescued within the last 24 hours. This will generate more anguish, despair, and sorrow.
Deaths in Turkey have already passed 40,000. However, with so many homes and apartment blocks destroyed to mere rubble: once search operations cease, the death toll will increase and full mourning will follow for the known dead and missing.
Yunus Sezer, the head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), notified the people of Turkey that rescue efforts will mainly be terminated on Sunday night.
Reuters reports, “Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, WFP Director David Beasley said the Syrian and Turkish governments had been cooperating very well, but that its operations were being hampered in northwestern Syria.”
Fahrettin Koca, the Health Minister of Turkey, said, “Our priority now is to fight against the conditions that can threaten public health and to prevent infectious diseases.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “Sadly for Syria, ISIS (Islamic State) just butchered 53 people in the countryside of Homs. While Israel – despite search and rescue operations for survivors from the earthquake in Syria – shamefully hit Damascus with a missile strike.”
The BBC reports, “The UN has launched an appeal for over $1bn (£830m) to fund the Turkish relief operation, and another $400m (£332m) for Syrians. Aid groups say survivors will need months of help to rebuild their lives.”
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