Residents carry their belongings from the ruins of a house collapsed during an earthquake in the Turkish city of Samandag, February 16, 2023.
Prague – In the Turkish province of Kahramanmaraş, even today, the eleventh the day after the devastating earthquake, two women were rescued alive. One of them, a 17-year-old girl, was under the rubble for 248 hours, a 42-year-old woman spent 257 hours buried. Anadolu Agency reported about it. The number of victims of the earthquake that hit southern Turkey and northwestern Syria on February 6 has already exceeded 42,000.
Photo gallery: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
Turkey's Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) said this morning that the death toll on the Turkish side had risen to 36,187. In neighboring Syria, the UN estimates 6,000 people have died; the earthquake in this country affected nine million inhabitants, Reuters wrote. AFAD also said today that after two initial strong tremors, seismologists have recorded 4,300 aftershocks since last Monday.
Even today, according to Turkish media, two people were rescued alive from the wreckage. First, TRT TV reported that after 248 hours after the earthquake, rescuers in Kahramanmaraş 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. On Wednesday, the tenth day after the earthquake, the rescuers got three women and two children alive from the rubble. On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said more than 8,000 people had been rescued from the rubble since the February 6 tremors. However, Erdogan did not say whether some of them later succumbed to their injuries in the hospital. Rescuers from the wreckage are often hypothermic as well, with temperatures dropping below freezing in affected areas at night.
Today the UN releaseda call to provide one billion dollars (over 22 billion crowns) to help five million people in Turkey. “We must stand by them in their most difficult hour and provide them with the necessary support,” said the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths. A collection with a target amount of 400 million dollars (almost nine billion crowns) to help nine million people who are dealing with the consequences of the disaster in Syria was announced by the United Nations in Tuesday.
The Turkish government announced on Wednesday, according to Al-Jazeera television, that it has so far recorded 50,576 collapsed or heavily damaged buildings. Authorities in the ten affected provinces have inspected more than 387,000 buildings, of which nearly 12,000 will have to be demolished as soon as possible in Gaziantep province, 10,900 must be demolished due to significant damage in Hatay province and 10,777 in Kahramanmaraş province.
According to UN estimates, 6,000 people died in the earthquake in Syria, but even this number is apparently not final. The situation in this country, where the civil war is still not over, is more complicated, as the tremors have also affected the area controlled by the rebels. Since February 6, over 100 UN trucks have arrived in Syria with humanitarian aid. However, some residents criticized the international organization for allegedly slow and insufficient aid.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in his first televised appearance today since the earthquake, said the extent of the damage was greater than the government had available and thanked all the countries that provided help, including “Arab brothers and friends”.
The head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Jagan Chapagain expressed concern about the situation in the Syrian territory affected by the earthquake. After visiting the Syrian city of Halab (Aleppo), he said that people live there in poorly heated spaces and poor conditions. He also said he was worried about the spread of infectious diseases. Halab was hit by a cholera epidemic at the end of last year.