Death toll in Turkey rises, rescuers search for survivors

Rescue teams in Turkey continue to work, and reinforcements from other countries have joined to free people trapped under the rubble, writes Reuters.
The total number of dead has reached almost three thousand. A 7,8-magnitude earthquake shook Turkey and Syria in the early morning of Monday, the 6th of February, destroying blocks of residential buildings and leaving thousands homeless. According to the latest announcement of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), almost eight thousand residents have been rescued from 4,758 destroyed buildings. AFAD head Yunus Sezer informed the media that 2,921 people have died in Turkey and aftershocks continue in the region. On the morning of Tuesday, the 7th of February, another 5,6-magnitude earthquake was registered in Turkey.

Rescue operations are hampered by weather conditions – the temperature has dropped below zero in many places affected by the earthquake. Elsewhere, it is raining, making conditions worse for survivors who have been left homeless.

In the province of Kahramanmaras, north of Hatay, families gather around fires, wrapped in blankets. One of the survivors, Neset Guler, tried to warm herself by a fire with her four children and told Reuters: «We barely made it out of the house. Our situation is a disaster. We are hungry, we are thirsty. It’s miserable.»
The earthquake, which was followed by a series of aftershocks, is the most serious recorded since August 2021, when a strong earthquake struck a remote area in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is the deadliest earthquake in Turkey since 1999 when almost 17 thousand people died. Currently, the number of injured in Turkey has reached 16 thousand.
According to Damascus, 1,444 people have been killed and around 3,500 injured in Syria. The earthquake has further devastated the country, which has been at war for 11 years. The UN official said that the lack of fuel and harsh winter conditions make rescue operations very difficult.
Poor internet coverage and damaged roads between the hardest-hit cities in southern Turkey, home to millions of people, are hampering the assessment of the extent of the disaster and appropriate response.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the earthquake a disaster and said the authorities were doing everything possible to help people.
In the Turkish city of Iskenderun, rescuers work in a huge pile of rubble that was once part of the intensive care unit of the city’s hospital. Medical staff said they were doing everything they could to help the injured patients.
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