Syria was already on the verge of ruin because of the war. But the earthquake that occurred at 4:17 am on Monday has created a holocaust-like situation here. People have died on a large scale. Due to this earthquake, a huge devastation has been seen in Idlib, Syria. People have become homeless in the cold weather. People are forced to live outside their homes without any means. The death toll in the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria has risen to over 4,300. Rescue teams are finding it difficult to help victims and rescue people trapped under the debris amid heavy rain and snowfall in the two neighboring countries.
The BBC reported that as of Tuesday morning, the death toll in Turkey stood at 2,921, compared to 1,500 in Syria. According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), at least 15,834 people were injured, while 7,840 were pulled alive from the rubble. AFAD also said at least 5,606 buildings were destroyed, Xinhua news agency reported. A total of 14,720 people are working to provide help, including military personnel.
A devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4.17 a.m. Monday, followed minutes later by a 6.4-magnitude quake in Gaziantep province. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the 7.8 magnitude earthquake had its epicenter 23 km east of Nurdagi in Gaziantep at a depth of 24.1 km. Around 1.30 am, another tremor of magnitude 7.5 hit Kahramanmaras, which officials said was not an aftershock. Over 60 aftershocks were felt throughout the day. A total of 711 deaths were recorded in government-controlled areas in Syria, mostly in the areas of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus, CNN quoted state news agency SANA as saying. The ‘White Helmets’ group, officially known as the Syria Civil Defence, reported 740 deaths in opposition-controlled areas.
America gave assurance of help
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the death toll could rise further as rescue operations are still ongoing in both countries, the BBC reported. In the Turkish city of Osmania, near the epicenter, rescue operations were hampered by heavy rain. There is also a power failure in the city after the devastation. The earthquake also caused significant damage to three airports in Turkey, posing many challenges in relief and rescue operations. Many countries have sent rescue workers to help the affected area and offered support. US President Joe Biden spoke to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and assured all possible help.
Whole world came in support
India on Monday announced that two NDRF teams comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment have gone to the affected areas. Medical teams are also being prepared with necessary medicines. The relief material will be sent in coordination with the Turkish government and the Embassy of India in Ankara and the Consulate General in Istanbul. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol issued an order to send rescue teams and emergency medical supplies to Turkey.
The European Union is sending search and rescue teams to Turkey, while rescuers from the Netherlands and Romania have already left. Britain has said it will send 76 specialists, equipment and sniffer dogs. France, Germany and Israel have also pledged to help. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered help to both Turkey and Syria. Australia has pledged $10 million in aid to Turkey.
(with agency inputs)