Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Earthquake in Turkey killed more than 35,000 people

ANTIOCH, Turkey ( Associated Press) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Tuesday that more than 35,000 people have died in Turkey as a result of last week’s earthquakes, the worst of their kind since the country’s founding 100 years ago. Bad disaster.

Although the death toll was almost certain to rise further, many of the tens of thousands of survivors were left homeless, still struggling to make ends meet for basic needs, such as shelter from the bitter cold.

The confirmed deaths in Turkey exceeded those recorded in the Great Erzincan earthquake in 1939, which killed an estimated 33,000 people.

Erdogan said that 105,505 people were injured in the February 6 earthquake centered on Kahramanmaras. Nearly 3,700 deaths have been confirmed in neighboring Syria, bringing the total death toll in the two countries to more than 39,000.

Turkey’s president, who has referred to the quake as the “disaster of the century”, said more than 13,000 people were still receiving medical care in hospitals.

After a five-hour cabinet meeting at the headquarters of the AFAD disaster relief agency, Erdogan reported that 47,000 buildings containing 211,000 homes had been destroyed or damaged enough to require demolition.

“We will continue our work until we get the last civilian out of the destroyed buildings,” Erdogan said of the rescue efforts.

Meanwhile, humanitarian agencies and governments doubled their efforts to send aid to areas of Syria and Turkey hit by the earthquake.

The situation was particularly dire in Syria, where 12 years of civil war have complicated aid efforts and disputes have arisen in the country about how to distribute it. Some people claimed that they have not received anything yet. Meanwhile, families in Turkey were crammed into train coaches.

On Tuesday, the United Nations launched an appeal to raise $397 million to provide “nearly 5 million Syrians in dire need and critical assistance” over three months. It came a day after the world body announced a deal with Damascus to get UN aid from Turkey into rebel-held areas in northwestern Syria by two more border crossings, but the needs are huge.

Ahmed Ismail Suleiman prepares a blanket shelter in front of his damaged home in the town of Jindris, one of the worst affected communities in northwestern Syria. He feared moving his family back into a house that might not be structurally sound, so the 18 people slept under makeshift tents.

“We sit, but we can’t sleep lying here,” he said. “We are waiting for a suitable store.”

In Adiaman province, rescuers reached 18-year-old Muhammad Kaifar Setin. Medics kept her with fluids through an intravenous line before rescuers attempted a dangerous evacuation from the collapsing building as they worked. Several doctors surrounded him to put a neck brace on him before he was carried away on a stretcher with an oxygen mask, according to Turkish television footage.

Many in Turkey attributed the scale of the disaster to poor construction, and authorities continued to search for contractors possibly connected to the collapsed buildings. Turkey has introduced building regulations that meet earthquake-resistant engineering standards, but experts say those protocols are often not followed.


Bilginskoy and Wilkes reported from Istanbul. Armanguy from Antioch, Turkey. Associated Press writers Abby Sewell and Karim Cheheb in Beirut and Edith M. Lederer in New York contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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