< /p> Buildings collapsed during an earthquake in the city of Golbasi in Turkey's Adiyaman province on February 8, 2023.
Ankara – The earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday has already claimed over 12,000 lives, including almost 3,000 on the Syrian side of the border. This was reported today by foreign press agencies, which refer to the official statistics of both countries. There are also tens of thousands of injured people on the ground. Rescue teams worked in the area overnight in an attempt to free survivors from the rubble of buildings, but the chances of rescuing those buried in the ground are slimmer, even in view of the freezing temperatures.
Photo gallery: Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
In Turkey, the disaster took the lives of 9,057 people, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited the affected areas today. According to him, there are almost 50,000 injured. More than 6,000 buildings collapsed. Erdogan admitted that in the first day after the disaster there were some problems in helping those affected, now, according to him, the rescue operations are continuing at full speed. According to the authorities, almost 100,000 people were involved in the rescue work.
Today, Erdogan also condemned the criticism leveled at the government after the earthquake. Some say the government's response to the disaster is inadequate. “Now we should be united, it's time for solidarity. I can't stand people who run negative campaigns for their political interests,” the Turkish president said after arriving in Hatay province. According to him, it is impossible to prepare for a similar disaster. As he added, the government will accelerate the removal of rubble and the construction of new houses.
One Czech woman, who has permanent residence there, is still missing in Turkey after the earthquake, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said today. He added that he could not provide further information. Regarding the aid provided, Lipavský added that the Czechia does not forget about Syria either. “The aid will go there through international organizations,” he added.
In Syria, 2,992 people were killed in areas under the control of both the opposition and the government. The rescue organization known as the White Helmets today reported at least 1,730 dead in rebel-held areas of northwest Syria. “The number is expected to increase significantly, as hundreds of families are under the rubble, more than 50 hours after the earthquake,” the organization said.
Syria's state agency SANA reported that the earthquake left almost 1,000 homeless. 300,000 people. But apparently this figure only covers government-held areas of Syria, so the total number of homeless people will be much higher. Around four million people live in rebel-held areas near the border with Turkey.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Turkey near the border with Syria overnight on Monday. More shocks followed. In terms of the number of victims, it is the most devastating earthquake in more than a decade since almost 20,000 people died in Japan's Miyagi prefecture in 2011.
Rescuers are still finding survivors almost two days after the earthquake
Rescuers in Turkey and Syria are still finding survivors in the ruins of buildings more than 50 hours after Monday's devastating earthquake. A three-year-old boy was rescued in the city of Kahramanmaraş in southeastern Turkey, and a ten-year-old girl was rescued in nearby Adiyaman, Hürriyet newspaper wrote today. A 58-year-old woman managed to survive under the rubble of a collapsed hotel in the province of Kahramanmaraş, whose rescue was shown by ntv station reporters. A two-month-old infant was also rescued alive, Anadolu Agency wrote.
Rescue work in disaster-stricken areas continued throughout the night, with rescue teams pulling hundreds of dead from thousands of collapsed buildings. According to the latest balance of the authorities, 8,574 victims have been confirmed in Turkey and 2,662 in Syria, but the number of dead will probably continue to rise. Discovering survivors more than two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake is now almost a miracle, and the media reports such cases in detail.
According to the daily Hürriyet, three-year-old Arif Kaan was rescued from the remains of a collapsed apartment building in Kahramanmaraş at night. The boy became wedged between blocks of concrete and rescuers had to carefully cut away material to get to him while trying to use blankets to ensure the boy didn't freeze in the sub-zero temperatures. In nearby Adiyaman, reporters recorded a moment when people applauded when rescuers managed to free ten-year-old Betül Edis from a collapsed house. Her grandfather greeted her with tears in his eyes before she was taken to the hospital.
Anadolu Agency published a video, which shows the rescue of a two-month-old boy, Muhammed, in an area near the town of Elbistan. His mother also got out alive from the rubble last night. According to Anadolu, a one-year-old child was rescued from the ruins of a five-story building in the province of Şanliurfa 53 hours after the earthquake.
She also had a happy ending rescue operation in the city of Hatay, where it was possible to get the eight-year-old boy Yigit Çakmak out of the rubble after 52 hours. A series of photos captured how the boy was handed to rescuers until he wasinto mother's arms. In the city of Kahramanmaraş, 55 hours after the tremors, rescuers reached the buried thirteen-year-old boy Berat, who managed to get his parakeet out of the rubble. Foreign rescue teams are also reporting successes: the Dutch one managed to save seven people since midday on Tuesday, Polish rescuers found nine survivors in the town of Besni, including parents with two children and a thirteen-year-old girl.
She was a boost for the rescuers. and a successful event in the Syrian village of Bisnija. According to the video published by The Guardian, a man and his two children were freed there today.
Injuries that are almost 50,000, also go to more distant places in Turkey, for example Istanbul, for treatment. Atatürk Airport, which is otherwise no longer used for civilian transport, was opened there for planes transporting the wounded, wrote the DPA agency. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that 77 field hospitals had been set up in the ten provinces where the president declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.