11,200 dead in Monday’s earthquake, new toll

A record that continues to grow. The earthquake and its aftershocks that shook Turkey and Syria on Monday killed more than 11,200 people. The death toll in Turkey has reached 8,574, announced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, February 8, who visited the city of Kahramanmaras, epicenter of the earthquake, while in Syria 2,662 bodies were recovered. pulled out of the rubble.

According to the Turkish president, 50,000 people were injured and rescued three days after the disaster. Syrian doctors and authorities for their part mentioned 5,000 injured.

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In freezing cold, rescuers continue to race against time to try to rescue survivors of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck at dawn on Monday and shook southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria. It was followed by no less than 185 aftershocks, including one of 7.5 on Monday at midday and another of 5.5 on Tuesday before dawn. It is the worst earthquake in Turkey since that of August 17, 1999 which killed 17,000 people, including a thousand in Istanbul.

Bad weather is complicating the task of rescue and the Turkish Interior Minister warned on Tuesday that the next 48 hours would be “crucial” to find survivors.

45 countries offered their help to Turkey

In Gaziantep, a town located very close to the epicenter, a resident has already lost hope of finding her aunt alive, buried under the rubble. ” It’s too late. Now we are waiting for our dead”she confided.

International aid began arriving in Turkey on Tuesday, where national mourning was declared for seven days. According to the Turkish president who declared a state of emergency for three months in the ten provinces affected by the earthquake, 45 countries offered their help.

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The European Union has mobilized 1,185 rescue workers and 79 search dogs for Turkey from 19 Member States including France, Germany and Greece. US President Joe Biden promised Recep Tayyip Erdogan “all the help needed, whatever it is”. Two teams of rescuers were to arrive this Wednesday morning in Turkey. Even Ukraine, despite the Russian invasion, announced the dispatch to Turkey of 87 rescue workers.

China announced Tuesday the sending of an aid of 5.9 million dollars as well as specialized rescue workers in urban areas, medical teams and emergency equipment.

The United Arab Emirates has pledged $100 million in aid and Saudi Arabia, which has had no ties with the Syrian regime since 2012, has announced the establishment of an airlift to help the populations. affected in both countries.

Aid “to the Syrian people, not to the regime” in Damascus

In Syria, 2,547 deaths have been recorded at this stage. The balance sheet should “climb considerably as hundreds of people remain trapped under the rubble”according to the White Helmets (civil protection volunteers) in the rebel areas.

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The appeal launched by the authorities in Damascus, however, was mainly heard by its Russian ally. According to the army, more than 300 Russian soldiers are already on the scene to help the relief.

Washington said on Tuesday it was working with local NGOs in Syria, insisting that its “funds will of course go to the Syrian people, not to the regime” damask. For its part, the EU is in contact with its humanitarian partners on the ground and finances aid operations.

The earthquake hit the Bab al-Hawa crossing point, the only one for almost all humanitarian aid to rebel areas in Syria sent from Turkey, according to the UN. The Syrian Red Crescent, which operates in government areas, called on the EU to lift sanctions against Damascus.

Source : Nouvelobs

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