Illustrative photo – Residents carry their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an earthquake in the Turkish city of Samandag, February 16, 2023.
Ankara – Rescuers in Turkey have ended the search for survivors of the devastating earthquake in all but the two most affected provinces – Kahramanmaraş and Hatay. With reference to the Office for the Solution of the Consequences of Disasters (AFAD), the AFP reported about it today. The authority also released a new death toll: the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 killed 40,689 people in Turkey. According to the latest UN estimates, the number of victims in neighboring Syria is around 6,000. Rescuers searched for survivors in nine Turkish provinces for almost two weeks.
Photo gallery: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
Among the last survivors found, less than 13 days after the disaster, was a family in Hatay province with a 12-year-old boy who died not long after being pulled from the rubble. Since then, according to available reports, rescue workers have not found any more survivors, but work continues in two provinces, reports the AP agency.
In addition to human casualties, the earthquake also caused extensive material damage. The first 7.8-magnitude quake was followed by thousands of aftershocks, dozens of them at five or six magnitudes. According to Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, the earthquake flattened or seriously damaged about 105,000 buildings, in which there were about 384,500 apartments.
International teams, including one from the Czech Republic, participated in the rescue operations in Turkey. Czechs in the city of Adiyaman rescued 78 dead bodies and two living people from the rubble. They returned to the Czech Republic on Friday afternoon.
In neighboring Syria, according to the UN, at least 8.8 million people are dealing with the effects of the disaster, and most of them need some form of humanitarian aid. The situation in Syria was already catastrophic for many people due to the long-term civil war and economic crisis before the earthquake.