Türkiye’s rescue operation enters 6th day as quake toll soars

Türkiye's rescue operation enters 6th day as quake toll soars


Monday’s two powerful earthquakes centred in Türkiye’s Kahramanmaras province affected millions of people across the country’s southeast and neighbouring Syria.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Massive rescue operations continue in Türkiye’s southeastern provinces and in northern Syria as the combined death toll has reached close to 25,000.

In Türkiye, the death toll has climbed to 21,043 with more than 80,000 others injured from Monday’s devastating earthquakes, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes, centred in Türkiye’s Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 10 provinces including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.

According to the UN, more than 5 million people may now be left homeless in northern Syria, which is already suffering from a 12-year civil war and a refugee crisis. 

Several countries in the region, including Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

The death toll in Syria late on Friday climbed to 3,553 people – 1,387 in regime-run areas and 2,166 in the opposition-controlled territories. 

Here is how you can help the earthquake victims.

Following are the latest updates: TRT WORLD

1246 GMT — Nineteen-year-old boy rescued in southeastern Türkiye

Gurkan Ozturk was rescued from the debris of a collapsed building in the Antakya district of Hatay province, which was heavily hit by Monday’s massive earthquakes.

The quake survivor was lying on the ambulance bed when he told the medical personnel that “everything collapsed and I thought we are ruined because there are only five months left to the YKS,” referring to the Turkish university entrance exam.

The emergency staff said: “Dear friends, I am announcing that 19-year-old Gurkan, who broke a record for surviving under the rubble, is preparing for the university entrance exam. He seeks support to get test prep books.”

1154 GMT — President Erdogan thanks aiding countries

President Erdogan has expressed gratitude to all ‘friendly’ countries showing solidarity with Turkish nation by sending search and rescue teams after massive quake. 

Monday’s quakes were three times stronger than the1999 earthquake in Türkiye, the president says.

1144 GMT — Death toll reaches over 21,000 in Türkiye

The death toll from Monday’s powerful earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye has climbed to 21,043, says President Erdogan. 

1137 GMT — Pakistani diaspora in US contributes $30M to earthquake victims

Pakistanis living in the US have donated $30 million to the families of those who lost their lives and are injured in the two earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye and northern Syria, the Pakistani prime minister has said. 

“Deeply moved by the example of an anonymous Pakistani who walked into Turkish embassy in the US & donated $30 million for earthquake victims in Türkiye & Syria,” Shehbaz Sharif stated on Twitter.

“These are such glorious acts of philanthropy that enable humanity to triumph over the seemingly insurmountable odds,” he added.

1102 GMT — UN aid chief says earthquake is region’s ‘worst event in 100 years

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths described the devastating earthquake that hit southeastern Türkiye and northwestern Syria as the “worst event in 100 years in this region”.

Speaking during a news briefing in the Turkish province of Kahramanmaras, Griffiths also lauded Türkiye’s response to the disaster as “extraordinary”.

He also told Reuters news agency he hoped in Syria aid would go to both government and opposition-held areas, but that things with this regard were “not clear yet”.

1056 GMT — Rescue teams find more survivors of devastating quakes 

Rescue teams in Türkiye have pulled five members of a single-family alive from the wreckage of their home, 129 hours after a powerful earthquake struck the region.

Rescuers on Saturday first extricated mother and daughter Havva and Fatmagul Aslan from among a mound of debris in the hard-hit town of Nurdag, in Gaziantep province, local media reported.

The teams later reached the father, Hasan Aslan, but the man insisted that his other daughter, Zeynep, and son Saltik Bugra be saved first, the station said. 

1053 GMT — Swiss rescue team saves 11 people trapped under debris in quake-hit Türkiye 

A Swiss rescue team pulled a 6-month-old baby and her mother out from the rubble of a collapsed building in quake-hit southeastern Türkiye, bringing its rescues to 11 in total.

The rescue of the baby girl and her mother took place in the Hatay province, the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit said on Twitter, sharing a photo of the dramatic rescue of the baby.

“After a total of eleven rescues, the mission of the Swiss rescuers, plus 8 dogs from REDOG, continues,” the unit added.

1050 GMT — 2-month-old baby rescued from quake rubble after 128 hours in debris

A two-month-old baby has been rescued miraculously in Hatay 128 hours after two powerful earthquakes hit southeastern Türkiye.

The baby survived the deadly disaster and was immediately taken to the hospital for medical checks.

Hatay is among the cities that were severely affected by the two powerful quakes.

1031 GMT — Türkiye-Armenia border reopens after 30-year hiatus to aid quake zone

The Türkiye-Armenia border reopened for the first time in 35 years to carry humanitarian aid to people affected by Monday’s huge twin earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye.

Five trucks carrying aid from Armenia crossed the border via the Alican border crossing eastern Türkiye’s Igdir province.

Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vahan Kostanyan shared a video showing aid trucks crossing a bridge to arrive in Türkiye.

0738 GMT — Two women survive for days in earthquake rubble 

Rescuers in Türkiye pulled two women alive from the rubble of collapsed buildings after they were been trapped for 122 hours following the massive quakes, authorities said.

One of the rescued women, Menekse Tabak, 70, was swaddled in a blanket while rescuers carried her to a waiting ambulance in the province of Kahramanmaras.

The other was an injured 55-year-old, identified as Masallah Cicek, who was extricated from the debris of a collapsed building in Diyarbakir, the largest city in southeast Türkiye.

0344 GMT — Turkish Americans hold candlelight vigil to mourn victims of earthquakes

A candlelight vigil was held in Washington, DC to honour the victims of deadly earthquakes in Türkiye.

A group gathered in Lafayette Square next to the White House to mourn the victims of the massive earthquakes that thousands and injured tens of thousands of others. 

The vigil was organised by the American Turkish Association of DC (ATA-DC) and was attended not only by Turkish Americans but Americans who want to show solidarity with those affected by the earthquakes. 

0233 GMT — Children rescued as Türkiye-Syria quakes toll mounts

Rescuers pulled children from the rubble of the Türkiye-Syria earthquake on the sixth day of the devastating earthquakes.

Aftershocks following Monday’s 7.7-magnitude tremor have added to the death toll and further upended the lives of survivors.

0232GMT — Cuba to send medics to Türkiye, Syria to assist in earthquake relief

Cuba prepared to send healthcare workers to Türkiye and Syria, joining a growing group of nations providing rescue and medical aid to the region after a devastating earthquake this week.

Cuban authorities in Havana said 32 medics were set to depart for Türkiye. 

Countries around the world have volunteered health care workers and aid to the region the deadliest quake in two decades.

Source: AA

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