Thursday, February 22, 2024

Turkey-Syria earthquake live updates: Death toll nears 44,000

Search operation continues for the possible survivors in quake-hit southeast Turkey and northern Syria. At least 43,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria.

US will do ‘everything in our power’ to aid Turkey

The US will do everything possible to aid Turkey in the aftermath of strong earthquakes that jolted southern provinces, the State Department has said.

“We are gonna continue to do everything in our power working directly with the government of Turkey, working through UN and NGO partners to provide the critical relief that people in the country need right now,” spokesperson Vedant Patel told Turkish state media.

“First and foremost, on behalf of the State Department and the US government, I want to say that our thoughts continue to be with the people of Turkey and Syria in what is a very difficult and challenging time right now,” he added.

Man rescued from rubble in Turkey 11 days after earthquakes: State media

A man has been rescued from a collapsed building in the southern Turkish province of Hatay, 11 days after two massive earthquakes struck, according to the Anadolu Agency.

While some international rescue teams have left the vast quake zone in Turkey and Syria, survivors are still emerging from under their flattened homes, defying the odds.

‘One aftershock every four minutes’: Turkey’s disaster agency

There have been about 4,700 aftershocks, or one every four minutes, since the earthquakes struck last week, Orhan Tatar, general director of earthquake and risk reduction at the country’s disaster agency, told state-run Anadolu agency.

“Most of these aftershocks are palpable,” Tatar said, adding that about 40 of them were above magnitude 4.

He also stated that magnitude 5 tremors may occur in the coming days.

Medics concerned over post-quake unaccompanied children

Medics in Syria’s opposition-held northwest are raising serious concerns over many unaccompanied children that have been reported in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

The UN says more than two million children live in the enclave, many of whom have grown up knowing only displacement and war.

Their situation has “significantly worsened post-earthquake”, says a UN report. “The mental toll is particularly worrisome as many children, women and the elderly reportedly suffer from severe shock and panic,” it added.

Speaking to OCHA, neurologist al-Yamani recalled the moment when he was given a three month-child with a fractured skull.

“Until now, we still do not know anything about his family. No one asked for him either,” he stated.

UN: 142 aid trucks have crossed into northwest Syria

A total of 142 trucks loaded with aid provided by six UN agencies have so far crossed to northwest Syria since last week’s earthquakes, the organisation said in its latest update.

On February 16, 22 trucks carrying aid crossed through Bab al-Hawa, while two additional trucks carrying tents provided by UNHCR crossed over at the Bab al-Salam entry point.

Death toll from quakes nears 44,000

Death toll from the earthquake now stands at 43,858.

  • At least 38,044 died in Turkey, the country’s disaster agency announced.
  • In Syria government-controlled areas 1,414 were killed, according to the Syrian health ministry.
  • About 4,400 people died in Syria’s opposition-controlled areas, a UN agency confirmed.

Four more rescued from collapsed buildings in Turkey

Reports of miracle rescues continue to come in, with four people pulled out of collapsed buildings more than 10 days after the earthquake struck.

Rescue teams brought out 29-year-old Neslan Kilic from the rubble in Kahramanmaras after 258 hours, according to state news agency Anadolu. Doctors stated she was in a stable condition and speaking.

“Thank God my sister survived,” her brother Yusuf Yalcinoz said, adding, “May Allah give everyone such a happy moment.”

There was more delight in Ekinci, as 12-year-old Osman Halebiye was brought to safety after 260 hours beneath the rubble, and an hour later in Antakya when rescuers found two men alive – Mehmet Ali Sakiroglu, 26 and Mustafa Avci, 34. Both have been taken to hospital.

Assad says earthquake response demands outstrip govt resources

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the scale of last week’s deadly earthquake demanded more resources than what the Syrian state had available to it and thanked states that had provided aid in its aftermath, including “Arab brothers and friends”.

“The scale of the disaster and the duties we must undertake are much greater than available resources,” Assad stated, in his first televised address since the earthquake in the dead of night on Monday.

UN launches $1bn appeal for Turkey quake victims

The United Nations has launched an appeal for $1bn in aid to help victims in Turkey of last week’s catastrophic earthquake that killed thousands of people.

The world body announced in a statement that the funds would provide humanitarian relief for three months to 5.2 million people, allowing aid organisations to “rapidly scale up vital support”.

Red Cross triples request for Turkey-Syria quake aid to $700m

The Red Cross has more than tripled its emergency funding appeal to over $700m for aid to victims of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria last week.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it now estimated it would need 650 million Swiss francs ($702m) to help respond to the soaring humanitarian needs in both countries.

Just over a week ago, the organisation had estimated its funding needs at 200 million francs ($216m).

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