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North-western Syria declared ‘disaster zone’ after powerful earthquake

In various areas in northern Syria, at least 58 people have been killed and hundreds injured

February 6, 2023 at 2:40 pm

The White Helmets Civil Defence Agency declared north-western Syria a “disaster zone” after a powerful earthquake centred in south–eastern Turkiye jolted the wider region early on Monday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a statement, the rescue agency called the situation in north-western Syria “catastrophic”, amid building collapses and scores of deaths.

The White Helmets appealed for urgent help “amid lack of capabilities and services, a shortage of shelters, and stormy and freezing weather.”

The agency also called for more pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies “to ensure that no attacks will be launched against quake-struck areas.”

At least 476 people have been killed and hundreds injured in Syria from the quake, according to figures compiled by the Syrian regime’s Health Ministry and Syrian Civil Defence.

The state-run SANA news agency reported, citing the Health Ministry, that at least 326 people were killed and 1,024 others injured, while Syrian Civil Defence said 150 people were killed and more than 350 others injured in areas under opposition control in north-western Syria.

Strong tremors hit the Idlib, Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Raqqa regions of Syria, according to the news agency.

Syrian Civil Defence noted that the death toll is likely to rise as there are hundreds of families who remain stuck under the debris of collapsed buildings.

Dozens of buildings were also destroyed or damaged in opposition-held areas in northern Syria, where rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors.

In various areas in northern Syria, at least 58 people have been killed and hundreds injured, according to information compiled by Anadolu from several local sources, including the Syrian Human Rights Network and hospitals.

In Turkiye, at least 912 people were killed and 5,385 others injured in 10 provinces after the earthquake, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis provinces were heavily affected by the quake.

Turkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the 7.7 magnitude quake struck at 4.17 a.m. (0117GMT) and was centred in the Pazarcik district in Turkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras.

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