Thursday Turkey-Syria earthquake: What do we know so far? | earthquake news
Rescuers are digging through rubble for the fifth day in a row to find more survivors of the devastating earthquake that has killed tens of thousands of people and swept away entire cities in Turkey and Syria this week.
Operations continued on Friday, but hopes of finding survivors are fading.
Al Jazeera’s Resul Serdar, reporting from Kahramanmaras, a Turkish city near the epicenter of the massacre, said: “This collapsed building used to be a cemetery. Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake. A second 7.6 magnitude quake struck a few hours later amid hundreds of aftershocks. “Dozens of people have been brought out [of the rubble]but all are dead,” said Serdar.
Still, there’s room for some hope amid the devastation. An 18-month-old baby and family members were pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building in Hatay’s Antakya district, southern Turkey, after becoming trapped, the Anadolu news agency reported. in 96 hours.
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know on day five of the rescue effort:
What do we know about casualties?
The death toll from the Turkey-Syria earthquake, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the “catastrophe of the century”, has surpassed 21,500.
According to Vice President Fuat Oktay, at least 18,342 people have been killed in Turkey, while at least 3,377 people are known to have died in Syria.
By comparison, 18,400 people died in the 2011 earthquake off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, which triggered the tsunami, and an estimated 18,000 people died in the earthquake that struck Izmit, Turkey, in 1999.
Tens of thousands of people were also injured in Monday’s disaster and tens of thousands were left homeless.
What do we know about rescue operations?
Winter weather and damage to roads and airports hampered rescue efforts. Some in Turkey have complained that the government is slow to respond – a perception that could hurt Mr Erdogan at a time when he faces an uphill battle for re-election in May.
The President has visited the affected cities over the past two days.
Turkey’s disaster management agency said more than 110,000 rescuers will join the effort with the support of more than 5,500 vehicles, including tractors, cranes, bulldozers and excavators. The State Department said 95 countries have offered to help.
Although experts say those trapped could survive for a week or more, the chances of finding survivors in the freezing temperatures are fading, with emergency teams now beginning to shift weight. focus on destroying dangerously unstable structures.
In Kahramanmaras, a sports arena the size of a basketball court is used as a makeshift morgue to store and identify bodies.
In the Turkish city of Antakya, dozens of people scrambled for aid in front of a truck distributing children’s coats and other essentials. One survivor, Ahmet Tokgoz, has called on the government to evacuate people from the area.
Many who lost their homes sought refuge in tents, stadiums and other makeshift shelters, but others had to sleep outdoors.
The United States on Thursday announced an initial $85 million emergency relief package for the two affected countries and is also temporarily lifting some sanctions related to Syria, in the hope of helping aid. assistance is delivered to the affected people as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the World Bank announced $1.78 billion in aid to Turkey to help with relief and recovery efforts.
UN chief Antonio Guterres is calling on the international community to give more money to Turkey and Syria, and to expand access to aid to earthquake-stricken areas in Syria.
Humanitarian Aid to Northwest Syria
Providing aid to opposition-controlled areas in northwestern Syria has proven to be a serious problem.
Residents of Jindires, one of Syria’s worst-affected areas, have to use their hands to search for survivors beneath collapsed buildings and are begging for international help after the earthquake Deadly.
A first convoy of six trucks managed to cross the Bab al-Hawa . intersection – the only UN-approved crossroads – on Thursday, but it brought little relief.
The U.S. Agency for International Development said in a statement that the funding would go to partners on the ground “to provide urgently needed aid to millions of people,” including food, accommodation and emergency medical services.
Tragedy piled up
According to Al Jazeera’s Sohaib al-Khalaf, the earthquake brought another misery to people in Syria’s Idlib province, where a dam burst caused rivers to overflow their banks and flood many homes.
The earthquake and floodwaters from the Asi River (also known as the Orontes River) destroyed more than 20 houses in the village of al-Tlul and flooded many others, according to al-Khalaf.