Monday, June 17, 2024

Turkey-Syria earthquake toll nearing 8,000, search operations continue

As desperate search operations continue for possible survivors in quake-hit areas of Turkey and Syria, the death toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the two countries has surpassed 7,900, authorities have confirmed.

Health minister Fahrettin Koca stated 1,647 people were killed in Hatay alone, the highest toll of any Turkish province. A total of 5,894 people have died in Turkey.

More than 8,000 people have been pulled from the debris in Turkey, while over 380,000 have taken refuge in government shelters or hotels, authorities said.

Orhan Tatar, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency’s general director (AFAD), has said at least 5,775 buildings collapsed after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit 10 provinces in Turkey on Monday.

Tatar added, there are a total of 60,217 personnel who are helping with rescue operations in 10 provinces in Turkey.

The death toll in Syria has risen to at least 2,032.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported at least 812 people were killed and 1,449 people injured in the government-held provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Idlib and Tartous.

At least 1,220 people were killed in Syria’s opposition-held northwest and 2,600 injured, with the toll expected to “rise dramatically”, rescuers in the region confirmed.

Rescuers are racing against time to pull survivors from the rubble before they succumb to cold weather, three days after earthquakes tore through southern Turkey and war-ravaged northern Syria.

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