The death toll from Monday’s earthquakes in southern Turkey near the Syrian border has risen to more than 9,600, according to figures released so far, which also show that more than 45,000 people have been injured in the quakes.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), under the Turkish Interior Ministry, said in a statement that so far 7,108 people have been confirmed dead in the provinces of Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Osmaniye, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya and Elazig, while the total number of injured has been put at 40,910.
He also specified that “after the first earthquake, 648 other earthquakes have been recorded, the highest magnitude being a 7.6 with epicenter in Elbistan”, before confirming that more than 96,600 agents, workers of non-governmental organizations, search and rescue teams and volunteers are deployed in the affected areas. Turkey has also set up an air bridge for the transfer of personnel and materials from Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
In this context, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has set up a Crisis Management Center at the Ministry of Defense to “face this great disaster” in order to transport rescue personnel and equipment via an airlift.
Erdogan himself will travel during the day to the area to supervise the search and rescue work, according to the Turkish Communications Directorate. “President Erdogan will go to the area affected by the earthquakes to closely follow the work,” he said in a brief message on his official account on the social network Twitter.
The Turkish leader on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for three months in the ten provinces affected by the earthquakes. “We are facing one of the biggest disasters not only in the history of the Republic, but also of the region and the world,” he said.
For its part, the earthquake has left 1,250 dead and 2,054 injured in the areas of Syria controlled by the authorities, according to data from the Syrian Ministry of Health published on its profile on the social network Facebook. These data correspond to the provinces of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, Tartus and Idlib areas in the hands of government forces.
“We are in a race against time and working with the maximum energies available and with the cooperation of all parties,” reads a statement from the Syrian Health portfolio, which notes that the country’s Executive have reviewed the emergency measures governing the situation.
The Syrian Prime Minister, Husein Arnus, went on Wednesday to the province of Latakia (west) to supervise the search and rescue work in the provincial capital, the homonymous Latakia. There he was briefed by local authorities on the ongoing work and met with several residents in the Raml al Shamali neighborhood, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA.
To the Syrian government figures must be added more than 1,280 dead and 2,600 wounded in rebel-held areas in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo (northwest), the Syrian Civil Defense, known as ‘white helmets’, have said through their Twitter account, where they insisted that “the balance is expected to increase significantly, as hundreds of families remain trapped under the rubble more than 50 hours after the earthquake.” Finally, they have pointed out that more than 360 buildings have been completely destroyed, while more than a thousand are “severely destroyed”.
Source: (EUROPA PRESS)