Earthquake deaths in Syria and Turkey surpass 21,000
Nuray Lydia Oglu and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
The devastating earthquake that hit Gaziantep in south-eastern Turkey with a magnitude of 7.8 is now known to have killed at least 21,000 people.
Yet despite the race against the clock, rescue teams – from many countries – are still finding people alive in Turkey (Turkiye) and Syria. Hence glimmers of hope remain among so many tears of sorrow.
CNN reports, “A 10-year-old girl was found alive in the 90th hour since Turkey’s earthquake, according to a statement from the Antalya Metropolitan Fire Department on Thursday. The first thing she asked for after her rescue was milk, the statement said.”
It took brave rescue workers roughly 7 hours to reach Hilal Sağlam. This little girl was trapped under enormous amounts of rubble in the province of Hatay.
The death toll in Turkey is now 17,674. In Syria, 3,377 have died. However, even this horrendous figure is likely to increase.
Weather conditions are raising fears concerning freezing temperatures.
The BBC reports, “Tens of thousands of people across Turkey and Syria are spending a fourth night taking refuge from bitter temperatures in makeshift shelters having been made homeless by the quakes.”
Antonio Guterres, the head of the United Nations, said, “This is the moment of unity, it’s not a moment to politicize or to divide but it is obvious that we need massive support.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “Guterres is aiming this comment at some shameful European Union and G7 nations that have been slow to respond to the needs of Syria.”
AP reports, the government of Syria is “…sanctioned by the U.S. and European countries, which are reluctant to route aid directly through the government. American and EU officials have made clear the quake won’t change that.”
Khaled Hboubati, the head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, declared his group is “ready to deliver relief aid to all regions of Syria, including areas not under government control.”
It is hoped that more people will be rescued against all odds. Similarly, people hit the worst need shelter, clothing, food, and clean water.
Guterres said, “Now is the hour to stand up for the people of Türkiye and Syria.”
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