Home » Devastating earthquakes rock Turkey and Syria leaving thousands dead

Devastating earthquakes rock Turkey and Syria leaving thousands dead

by admin

Turkey has been busy dealing with historical natural disasters. The largest earthquake in almost 100 years devastated neighboring areas in the southeast of the country and northern Syria, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Monday’s magnitude 7.8 quake destroyed thousands of buildings when it struck just after 4 a.m. local time, forcing people to flee into the streets in near-freezing temperatures. His second quake of magnitude 7.5, which occurred hours later, brought even more devastation.

Regions of Syria, impoverished by years of war, also felt the tremor as far away as Lebanon, Egypt and Israel, and were hit hard by the earthquake.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “It is not known how many more people will be killed and injured as the clearing of many buildings in the earthquake zone continues.

Underlying the scale of the challenge facing the country, he described the disaster as Turkey’s “greatest catastrophe” since the 1939 earthquake that killed about 33,000 people.

By Monday evening, Turkish officials said at least 1,651 people had been killed and more than 8,500 injured in Turkey. In Syria, more than 430 deaths have been confirmed in government-held areas, and more than 380 civilians have been killed in rebel-held northwestern areas.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for international assistance on Monday, telling a session of the General Assembly that people in the earthquake-hit country “already urgently need humanitarian assistance”.

Turkey is criss-crossed by faults, and small tremors occur almost every day. In 1999, a powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Istanbul and its surrounding areas, exposing poor construction standards that killed 18,000 people.

Monday’s quake triggered dozens of aftershocks hundreds of kilometers from its epicenter in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, and a second strong quake hit early afternoon 60 miles away.

Initial assessments in Turkey estimated that around 3,000 buildings were destroyed across the affected areas.

The United States, Britain, the Netherlands, Russia and Azerbaijan offered their help after Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said he would accept international aid, according to state media.

The state has dispatched military and cargo planes loaded with supplies for relief efforts, while Red Crescent humanitarian agencies have sent mobile kitchens, more than 1,000 tents and nearly 20,000 blankets to the area. .

Islamic relief groups in Turkey have launched a $20 million fundraising campaign, warning that supplies of mattresses, blankets and other bedding could run out within hours.

In Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, “hundreds of families” are still trapped under rubble, according to the Syrian Civil Defense Force, a Western-backed aid activist in the region.

The region is one of the last remaining enclaves of the Syrian opposition, home to about 4.6 million people, most of whom are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN data. Many people have fled their homes after being forced from their homes by internal civil wars, living in informal settlements on the outskirts of cities, in open fields, and in abandoned buildings.

Much of the region’s medical infrastructure was destroyed in the war, during which hospitals were routinely targeted.

A video released by the Syrian American Medical Association, which supports 36 health facilities in the northwest, showed chaotic ambulance crews at a hospital in Aleppo. “Our hospitals are overwhelmed with patients filling the corridors,” the group said in a statement.

Syrian state television aired footage of rescue teams searching for survivors in areas under the control of the Assad regime, and health officials called on civilians to rescue nearby residents and take them to hospital.

“I thought my room was going to fall over. “Several houses collapsed in my neighborhood, and I heard people screaming from under the rubble.”

Related Posts

Leave a Comment