Death toll in Turkey surpasses 40,000
The number of people killed in Turkey from the February 6 devastating quakes has risen to 40,642, the head of the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) Yunus Sezer stated.
The UN and Syrian government have also announced more than 5,800 people died in Syria, pushing the total death toll to more than 46,000.
WFP boss warns of bottlenecks in northwest Syria, cash running out
Local authorities in northwestern Syria are not giving the required access to the UN food agency, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) said, warning that the agency only had money left for about 60 days in its earthquake response programme.
“The Syrian and Turkish governments are really cooperating and are giving us the access we need to cross the border, but the problems we are running into is the cross-line operations into northwest Syria where the northwestern Syrian authorities are not giving us the access we need,” WFP Director David Beasley told Reuters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
“That is bottlenecking our operations. That has to get fixed straight away,” he added.
Three people rescued 13 days after quake
Turkish rescuers have pulled three people, including a child, alive from the rubble 13 days after a massive quake claimed tens of thousands of lives, local media reported.
Turkish television channel NTV broadcast images of them placed in stretchers and taken to a waiting ambulance.
Ghanian footballer Atsu’s body found under rubble: Agent
Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu has been found dead under the building where he lived in southern Turkey after last week’s massive earthquake, the ex-Chelsea winger’s Turkish agent said.
“Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble,” Murat Uzunmehmet told reporters in Hatay, where the athlete’s body was found.
“Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found,” Uzunmehmet added.
The 31-year-old player’s Ghanaian agent also confirmed the news on social media.
“I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time,” Nana Sechere posted.
Over 70,000 buildings in Turkey need to be demolished
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reporting from Adana stated that the government believes some 74,000 buildings that are standing, but must be demolished as soon as possible.
“We are talking about people’s homes. Not the ones that have already collapsed in the ground,” he said from a temporary relief centre, adding that more than 374,000 people have been evacuated.
Earthquakes tore 300km rupture through Earth’s surface: Report
Reuters news agency has documented how the ground in Turkey and northern Syria was cracked open and dragged in different directions after the huge 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 and its aftershocks.
Land on either side of the ruptures moved in opposite directions, settling up to 7 metres (23 ft) from its starting point in some locations, Reuters reports, citing data provided by Chris Milliner of the California Institute of Technology.
The main quake had a long rupture with displacements of up to 7 metres (23 ft). The shorter rupture from the 7.5-magnitude aftershock saw land displaced up to 5 metres (16 ft) in places, according to Reuters.
UN trucks bringing crucial aid to northwest Syria
A total of 178 trucks carrying aid from Turkey into northwest Syria have crossed the border since February 9, the UN has reported.
Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, stated on Friday the trucks carried a “multitude” of items from six UN agencies – including tents, mattresses, blankets, winter clothes, cholera-testing kits, essential medicines and food from the World Food Program.
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq noted that, according to recent assessments in Syria’s northwest, 50,000 households need tents or emergency shelter and at least 88,000 households need mattresses, thermal blankets and clothing.
In addition, the UN’s partners say hospitals and medical centres “are overstretched and under-resourced”, he added.
Turkey caring for over 1,500 children separated from families
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the state was caring for 1,589 children who were separated from their families following the deadly earthquakes, including 247 who have not yet been identified.
Oktay added 953 children had been reunited with their families. The vice president also noted search and rescue teams were working at fewer than 200 sites, with Hatay province accounting for the largest number.
Rescue teams in Hatay recovered a 45-year-old man alive on Friday after he spent 278 hours under rubble.
Bodies of more than 1,500 Syrians repatriated from Turkey
The bodies of at least 1,522 Syrians have been brought back to Syria from Turkey for burial, an official at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing stated.
Syrian survivors of the earthquake have also begun crossing back from Turkey. Some 1,795 Syrians crossed from Turkey into Syria on Wednesday, the first day after Turkey agreed to allow Syrian refugees affected by the earthquake to return to their country temporarily without losing their protected status in Turkey, the border-crossing official said.
The decision allows Syrian holders of Turkish temporary protection cards residing in earthquake-damaged areas to cross into Syria without having to obtain a travel permit from Turkish authorities.
Normally, Turkey would consider Syrians holding protected status who crossed into Syria without a permit to have relinquished their status as asylum seekers and they would be prevented from re-entering Turkey for five years.
Turkey’s death toll rises above 39,000 after earthquakes
The death toll from powerful earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria last week has risen to 39,672 in the former, according to interior minister Suleyman Soylu.
In comments broadcast live on private station CNN Turk, he also stated some 82,000 buildings were either collapsed or severely damaged due to the earthquake in Turkey.
WHO seeks $84.5m for earthquake response in Turkey, Syria
The World Health Organization has appealed for $84.5m to respond to health needs after the earthquake in both Turkey and the Syrian Arab Republic.
“The flash appeal outlines the health situation in the two countries following this humanitarian disaster, the main threats to health, the WHO response since the earthquakes hit and priorities for addressing the health impacts in both countries,” the UN agency announced in a statement.