Over 28,000 Confirmed Deaths after the Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

World | February 12, 2023, Sunday // 10:07|  views


Unrest in southern Turkey has hampered rescue efforts in several places after Monday's deadly earthquake, three rescue groups said, quoted by the BBC. The death toll in Turkey and Syria has exceeded 28,000, and hopes of finding more survivors are dwindling despite several cases described as miracles.

German rescuers and soldiers from the Austrian army paused search operations on Saturday, citing clashes between unnamed groups.

The security situation is expected to worsen as food supplies dwindle, one rescuer said.

Turkey's president has said he will use emergency powers to punish anyone who breaks the law.

An Austrian military spokesman said early Saturday that clashes between unidentified groups in Hatay province had forced personnel from Austria's armed forces' disaster response force to seek refuge in a camp with other international organizations.

"There is increasing aggression between factions in Turkey," said Lt. Col. Pierre Kugelweiss.

Hours after Austria called off rescue efforts, the country's defense minister said the Turkish military had offered protection, allowing search operations to continue.

The German branch of the ISAR organization and the German Federal Agency for Technical Assistance also suspended operations, citing security concerns.

The number of victims of the powerful earthquakes in Turkey, which also affected neighboring Syria, may double or even more, said the UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths, meanwhile, who visited the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras, near the epicenter of the 7.8-magnitude quake. AFP reported.

The number of victims in Turkey and Syria now stands at a total of 28,191. "I'm sure that number will double or even rise even more," Griffiths told Sky News. "We haven't really started counting the dead yet," he added.

According to the UN, at least 870,000 people need hot food in Turkey and Syria. In Syria alone, up to 5.3 million people may be without a roof over their heads because of the earthquake, BTA notes.

A military transport plane carrying humanitarian aid from Italy to Syria, which was badly affected by the earthquakes in Turkey on February 6, landed yesterday at the international airport in the Lebanese capital Beirut, world agencies reported, citing the Italian charge d'affaires in Beirut Massimiliano D' Antoine.

The aid the plane is carrying weighs 30 tonnes and includes four ambulances and medical equipment. From Beirut, humanitarian aid will be delivered by Lebanese Red Cross convoy to neighboring Syria.

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Tags: earthquakes, turkey, Syria, German


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