< /p> Residents carry their belongings from the ruins of a house collapsed during an earthquake in the Turkish city of Samandag, February 16, 2023.
Prague – The number of victims of the strong earthquake that hit southern Turkey and northwestern Syria last week on Monday exceeded 42,000. Turkey's Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) said this morning that the current death toll on the Turkish side has risen to 36,187. According to UN estimates, 6,000 people died in neighboring Syria, writes the AP agency. Czech rescuers in the Turkish city of Adiyaman have so far rescued 77 dead from the rubble, they are preparing to return to the Czech Republic.
Photo gallery: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
AFAD also said today that in the area hit by the two strong tremors, seismologists have recorded around 4,300 additional tremors since February 6.
Shortly after that, information came about finding a survivor who had spent 248 hours in the wreckage. Turkey's state broadcaster TRT Haber said rescue workers in Kahramanmaraş province rescued a 17-year-old girl from the rubble of a collapsed house, according to Reuters. From the same region, the rescue of two women who survived in the ruins for less than ten days was reported on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that over 8,000 people had been rescued from the rubble in Turkey so far.
Today the UN publisheda call to provide one billion dollars (over 22 billion crowns) to help the five million people in Turkey who were affected by the earthquake. “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.
According to Al Jazeera television, the Turkish government announced on Wednesday that it has so far recorded 50,576 collapsed or severely 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 According to UN estimates, 6,000 people were killed in the earthquake in Syria, where the civil war continues for the twelfth year. This figure includes casualties in territory controlled by the government of President Bashar al-Assad as well as by anti-government rebels.
The UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Muhannad Hadi, told the AP agency that he hoped the number of victims would not rise too much. “However, the destruction caused by the earthquake does not give us much hope that this will be the final figure,” he added. 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 help.
The head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Jagan Chapagain, expressed his concerns about the current 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. “If this continues, there will be health consequences,” said Chapagain, who also fears the spread of infectious diseases. Halab was hit by a cholera epidemic at the end of last year.
Czech rescue workers rescued 77 dead in Turkey, they are preparing to return
Czech rescuers in the Turkish city of Adiyaman have so far rescued 77 dead from the rubble after the earthquake. There was some tension in the area, but the Czech team did not feel any problems or threats. On Wednesday, six international groups remained at the site according to the USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team operations system, Czech rescuers expect to finish the work this morning. Journalists were informed about this by the spokesman of the Czech fire brigade, Jakub Kozák.
“Wednesday, February 15, 2023, was a day for firefighters to continue deployment at two large rubble sites, where heavy equipment is already helping,” a spokesman said this morning. In one of the sectors, the Czech rescuers ended their work on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m., and they are planning to end it in the second as well. “Only one of our teams is deployed in the rubble, we expect to finish the work in the sector by 12:00,” added Kozák. According to him, electricity and water are still not available in the city of Adiyaman, but gas stations are working and people are receiving professional treatment from doctors.
According to the spokesman, the army and police are deployed to ensure security in the city. “There was some tension in the area – teams are advised to have interpreters or guides available when conducting surveys or working on rubble. The Czech team did not directly encounter any problems,” he noted. According to him, the team does not feel threatened, there are no difficulties or conflicts.
The number of rescue teams in the Adiyaman area gradually decreased from 21 on Monday to six international groups on Wednesday, two of which were from the US. “According to the statistics recorded in the USAR team operations system, Czech firefighters are responsible for rescuing more than a quarter of all victims in the city,” said Kozák. Last week, Czech rescuers also rescued two people alive from the rubble, a dog from a Czech canine group helped colleagues from another team find another living woman in the rubble.
The rescuers will return to the Czech Republic on Friday afternoon, they should arrive at 3:00 p.m. 40 to Prague airport. The plane will then continue to Ostrava, where the landing is planned for 19:35. The plane of the company Smartwings and two planes of the Czech army will deliver blankets from the warehouses of the State Material Reserves Administration (SSHR), medical consumables purchased from the Medevac program and 500 trauma kits from the Czech Red Cross to Turkey, Kozák said. Part of the Czech team is thus preparing to take over humanitarian aid and to cancel the camp in Adiyaman. Rescuers in Turkey will keep four of their 11 tents in use there, according to a spokesman. Until now, a rescue team from the US had them at their disposal, based on a Turkish request, they will be moved to evacuation camps.