Illustration photo – An excavator removes debris from a destroyed building after an earthquake in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, February 13, 2023.
Ankara – According to the Turkish authorities, the death toll from the earthquake that hit the south of the country and neighboring Syria last Monday has risen to 38,044. This was reported by the Reuters agency, according to which 5,800 deaths are reported from Syria. In total, the authorities and rescue workers in both affected countries already know about almost 44,000 victims. Even more than ten days after the strong tremors of February 6, rescuers are still finding people alive under the rubble of buildings.
Turkey's tally has risen by another nearly 2,000 since Thursday morning, while Syria's numbers haven't changed much in recent days. The head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, said at the weekend that the death toll is likely to exceed 50,000.
According to Turkish media, survivors remained under the rubble even ten days after the first strong 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that two men were pulled alive from the ruins of a hospital in the city of Antakya, 261 hours after the earthquake. Another building in the same city managed to save 260 hours from the shock of a twelve-year-old boy.
The chances of rescue are lower in the province of Kahramanmaraş, where there are very low temperatures at night, AFP writes. TRT TV reported on Thursday that after 248 hours since the earthquake, rescuers in this province freed a 17-year-old girl. In the evening, information came from the same region about the rescue of a forty-two-year-old woman who spent 257 hours under the rubble, according to Anadolu Agency.
However, according to Reuters, such cases are becoming increasingly rare and with dying hope, they say, “smoldering anger”. The earthquake left millions of people homeless in the two countries, many of whom are now sleeping in tents, mosques, schools or cars. International aid is flowing into the affected regions, which the UN is trying to step up. First, it announced a fundraiser with a target amount of 400 million dollars (almost nine billion CZK) to help people in Syria, then on Thursday it published a call for a billion dollars to Turkey.
Meanwhile, foreign rescue teams are ending operations in Turkey. countries headed last week. Czech rescuers are returning to their homeland today after freeing 78 dead and two alive people from the rubble.