Earthquake death toll in Turkey, Syria rises to over 2,000

Int’l community mobilizes to send aid

(Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — More than 2,000 people have died in both Syria and Turkey, with the number still rising, after two earthquakes hit on Monday.اضافة اعلان

Various countries and international organizations have offered to send aid.

Dozens of countries and organizations have offered to assist rescue efforts in southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the earthquake was the strongest since 1939, when a 7.9 quake hit the eastern city of Erzincan and killed more than 30,000 people.

Erdogan said 9,000 personnel are carrying out search-and-rescue operations, a number constantly increasing as people try and access the affected areas.

Erdogan said: "As well as NATO and the EU, we have received aid offers from 45 countries."

Earthquake damagesIt is estimated that over 1,700 buildings have collapsed since the initial 7.8 quake.

At least 1,498 people were killed across 10 provinces of Turkey, with another 7,600 injured, according to the country’s disaster management agency.

The death toll in government-held areas of Syria rose to more than 430 people, with 1,280 injured, according to data from the health ministry. In the country’s north-west where the government is not in control, groups that operate there said the death toll was at least 380, with many hundreds injured, according to The Guardian.

The death toll is likely to keep rising rapidly.

According to Turkish Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority listed the affected regions so far as Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis. Thousands more have been affected across the border in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, and Latakia.

Turkish media reported that two hospital buildings in the Turkish Hatay cities of Iskenderun and Antakya have collapsed following the earthquakes.

The collapsed sites include a six-story building at Iskenderun State Hospital which housed an intensive care unit. Patients evacuated to a nearby garden.

HaberTurk reported that search and rescue teams were still going through the wreckage. Meanwhile, the governor of Hatay said Antakya's state hospital had also collapsed.

2,000 year old Turkish castle destroyedThe ancient castle in the Turkish city of Gazientep has been largely destroyed by the devastating earthquake.

For over 2,000 years, Gaziantep Castle stood strong, its structure remaining intact despite waves of invasion and conquest that saw it controlled by a series of Middle Eastern empires, according to Middle East Eye.

Regional supportHis Majesty King Abdullah expressed condolences over the victims of the earthquake that hit areas in Syria and Turkey, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty also sent cables to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Syrian President Bashar Assad and issued directives to provide aid to the families impacted by the tragedy in the two countries.

Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, offered condolences and support to Turkey as well, saying that the country is mobilizing its resources to assist immediately, Al Jazeera reported.

Despite recent tensions, Greece and Turkey have a long history of helping each other in earthquakes.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, also expressed condolences and offered help to the earthquake-hit countries.

He described the offer of help as a “moral, human, and Islamic responsibility,” and said that Iran is ready to fulfill its responsibility if there is a need for the presence of its relief and health institutions, according to Al Jazeera.

Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, expressed his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said that Qatar is ready to support the country in mitigating the serious humanitarian repercussions of the earthquake.

Israel to send aidIsrael’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he had given the go-ahead to send aid to earthquake-hit Syria after receiving a request through diplomatic channels.

Netanyahu’s office declined to provide further details on the source of the request to help Syria.

The Israeli prime minister also confirmed that his government would send humanitarian assistance to Turkey.

Western supportWhite House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the US is “profoundly concerned” about the incident.

“I have been in touch with Turkish officials to relay that we stand ready to provide any & all needed assistance. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkiye,” Sullivan said on Twitter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences and offered assistance to the earthquake-hit countries.

Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, also expressed his sincere condolences and said that Ukraine is ready to provide necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster.

Meanwhile, Spain's urban rescue teams are preparing to travel to Turkey to help with the disaster.

The Indian government also said that they are ready to send two teams from their National Disaster Response Force with 100 personnel, including specially trained canine squads and equipment, to the disaster area for search-and-rescue operations.

According to Al Jazeera, China has expressed its willingness to provide humanitarian emergency aid to earthquake-stricken Turkey and Syria.  Spokesperson of the China International Development Cooperation Agency said that they are in communication with both countries and expressed their condolences and concern for the loss of life and property.

The EU has also mobilized 10 search-and-rescue teams from eight countries to assist first responders in Turkey.

The teams come from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania.

Italy and Hungary have also offered to send teams to Turkey.

Germany’s Federal Agency for Technical Relief said it is ready to provide shelter, water treatment units, generators, tents, and blankets to help with the disaster. 

Interior minister, Nancy Faeser, also said that Berlin will increase its assistance to charities providing humanitarian aid in northwest Syria by $1.1 million.

Organization supportThe Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is assessing the situation to provide direct support to those affected in Syria. Carsten Hansen, NRC's Middle East Regional Director, said that a massive scale-up is needed and their organization will be part of it, Al Jazeera reported.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, expressed solidarity with those affected in both countries and said that the UN agency is ready to help provide urgent relief to the survivors through their

Poland will also send its rescue group HUSAR, consisting of 76 firefighters and eight rescue dogs, to help with the disaster.

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