Earthquake deaths in Syria and Turkey pass 41,000
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 over 41,000 people. However, the number of deaths is expected to increase in Turkey and Syria – according to the estimates of the United Nations.
It is now nine days since the earthquake killed so many people. Despite some people still being rescued, the chances are extremely slim for the overwhelming majority of missing people. Therefore, so many families and friends have been torn asunder.
Yet, people are still being rescued – even if only a few. Even today, a 77-year-old lady was rescued in Adiyaman. Her rescue happened after 212 hours. In another case, a 45-year-old lady was rescued in Kahramanmaras – roughly 222 hours after the earthquake struck.
However, despite some people still being found, Turkey and Syria are now focusing overwhelmingly on reconstruction. Accordingly, Turkey is encouraging people to return home provided their homes have been deemed safe.
Vast numbers remain in tents and other forms of temporary shelters because so many buildings collapsed into rubble. This is putting enormous strains on regional authorities who need economic support to tackle the countless horrendous issues they face in assisting people.
Hans Kluge, the director of Europe for the World Health Organization, said, “growing concerns over emerging health issues linked to the cold weather, hygiene, and sanitation, and to the spread of infectious diseases, with vulnerable people especially at risk.”
The death toll in Turkey is now 35,418 people. In Syria, over 5,800 people have died from the earthquake. Hence, over 41,000 people have been killed – but the death toll keeps ticking.
The Guardian reports, “In Turkey alone, an estimated 1 million people are living in tents and temporary shelters, while at least 80,000 people have been hospitalized. Up to 5 million people may be homeless in Syria, many already internally displaced after fleeing civil war.”
Many countries responded to the crisis and supported Turkey and Syria. However, some nations shamefully negated full support to the Syrian government or provided lesser assistance.
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria met Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). They addressed essential issues concerning the devastating earthquake.
The Syrian Arab News Agency reports, “ICRC president indicated that the Organization is working to mobilize efforts to expand the scope of its humanitarian operations all over the Syrian territory, and it appreciates the cooperation made by the Syrian government and SARC in this regard.”
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