A building collapsed during an earthquake in the Turkish city of Kahta in Adiyaman province, February 6, 2023.
Adiyaman (Turkey)/Prague/Ankara/Damascus – Czech rescuers in in the Turkish city of Adiyaman, 12 more victims of Monday's earthquake have been rescued from the rubble since Friday. Together, they have so far recovered 32 bodies from the wreckage, rescued two survivors and assisted colleagues from another team in rescuing a woman. Today they should end the intervention in the two buildings they have been searching since Tuesday. Czech fire department spokesman Jakub Kozák told ČTK. Turkey already registers 20,665 dead. In neighboring Syria, there are a total of 3553 dead, the total balance of the disaster thus exceeded 24,000 victims.
Photo gallery: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
“In the city of Adiyaman, the roads are mostly passable, electricity and water remain unavailable. The team is in good health,” said the spokesperson.
Members of the Czech USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team specialized in searching for people in the rubble began in Adiyamanu to search two buildings measuring roughly 40 by 40 meters on Tuesday evening. “Today we plan to end the intervention in them. The coordinator will then discuss the further deployment of the team,” said Kozák.
Rescuers are still searching through the wreckage of homes as the chances of finding survivors dwindle, even given the cold overnight temperatures. In Syria, search and humanitarian operations are complicated by the complex domestic political and security situation. Access to regions under the control of insurgent groups is especially difficult.
The Czech USAR team abroad helped in the past, for example, in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2020 after an explosion in the port, which claimed the lives of two hundred people and injured another 6,000. In the Czech team at that time, together with firefighters, there were cynologists with dogs, a structural engineer and a doctor.
Turkey reports hundreds more victims, including Syria, the toll has exceeded 24,000 dead
Turkey has already registered 20,665 dead after Monday's strong earthquake. Referring to the Turkish Agency for Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD), Reuters reports about this. In neighboring Syria, the government and the opposition, which control parts of the divided country, reported a total of 3,553 deaths on Friday, bringing the total death toll from the disaster to over 24,000.
Turkish authorities recorded around 450 more deaths overnight. AFAD added that almost 93,000 people have been evacuated from the affected zone in the south of Turkey and that over 166,000 workers are involved in crisis operations. A team of Czech rescuers is also working in the area, who rescued two survivors from the rubble of collapsed houses in the city of Adiyaman on Friday morning.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks mainly affected the south of Turkey, but they were also felt northwest Syria. Rescuers are still searching through the wreckage of homes, while the chances of finding survivors are decreasing, even given the low temperatures at night.
In Syria, search and humanitarian operations are complicated by the complex domestic political and security situation. Access to regions under the control of insurgent groups is particularly difficult. Even there, aid in the form of tents and blankets is already on its way, but according to the rescue organization White Helmets, which operates in the areas, it is still completely insufficient. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated on Friday that the earthquake in Syria left up to 5.3 million people homeless.