< /p> Clearing the rubble of a building that collapsed in an earthquake in the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras, February 17, 2023.
Ankara – The death toll from the earthquake that struck southeast Turkey and northwest Syria last week on Monday, exceeded 45,000. Citing the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, Reuters reported today that 39,672 people have died in Turkey. 5,800 victims are reported in Syria. Even more than ten days after the strong tremors of February 6, rescuers are still finding people alive under the rubble of buildings.
Photo gallery: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
The head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, said at the weekend that the death toll was likely to exceed 50,000.
According to the Turkish media, survivors remained under the rubble even ten days after the first strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that two men were pulled alive from the ruins of a hospital in the city of Antakya, 261 hours after the earthquake. Another building in the same city managed to save 260 hours from the shock of a twelve-year-old boy. Anadolu Agency reported this afternoon about the last rescue of a person alive from the wreckage, according to which rescuers in Hatay province managed to free a forty-five-year-old man after 278 hours.
The chances of rescue are lower in the province of Kahramanmaraş, where there are very low temperatures at night, AFP writes. TRT TV reported on Thursday that after 248 hours since the earthquake, rescuers in this 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.
According to Reuters, however, such cases are increasingly rare, and with dying hope, according to her, “smoldering anger” among survivors. The earthquake left millions of people homeless in the two countries, many of whom are now sleeping in tents, mosques, schools or cars. International aid is flowing into the affected regions, which the UN is trying to increase. First, it announced a collection with a target amount of 400 million dollars (almost nine billion CZK) to help people in Syria, then on Thursday it published a call to provide a billion dollars to Turkey.
To date, more than 140 trucks with UN humanitarian aid have gone to Syria, the AP reported. According to representatives of the organization, the aim is to further strengthen the aid. Experts from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are working with Turkey to assess the damage caused by the earthquake to agricultural production in both countries.
A Syrian family of seven who survived died in a fire in the city of Konya overnight today earthquake and fled the affected area, reports Al Jazeera. The family took refuge with other Syrian refugees who were injured in the fire.
The earthquake affected areas where more than a million refugees from Syria lived. On Wednesday, the first day this was possible, roughly 1,800 Syrians returned to their homeland from Turkey. Spanish Migration Minister José Luis Escrivá has announced that his country will take in 100 Syrian refugees from Turkey, which was hit by the earthquake.
Meanwhile, foreign rescue teams that went to the country last week are ending operations in Turkey. Czech rescue workers who rescued 78 dead and two alive people from the rubble in Turkey returned to the Czech Republic today. They arrived in Turkey as one of the first international teams.