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Death toll from deadly earthquake surpasses 11,000

February 8, 2023 at 1:03 pm

Personnel and civilians conduct search and rescue operations in Idlib, Syria after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hits Turkiye’s Kahramanmaras, on February 07, 2023 [Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency]

The death toll from the 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes that hit Turkiye and Syria in the early hours of Monday morning has now surpassed 11,000.

The World Health Organisation has estimated that the final figure will be closer to 20,000 and that 23 million could be impacted.

The number of dead in Turkiye has reached 8,754 and in Syria 2,470 after the worst earthquake in decades levelled buildings, destroyed bridges and cut power across the region.

Survivors of the earthquake have hit out at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said he has been slow to respond to the disaster.

The Turkish government has jailed several people who have criticised the government’s response on social media and warned it will keep the records of people who disseminate disinformation.

Syria’s refugee camps hit by massive earthquake - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Syria’s refugee camps hit by massive earthquake – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The 72-hour golden rescue period – the time frame in which it is theoretically possible to find a survivor – is approaching, 4am tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile in northwest Syria, an already vulnerable region which has been devastated by the quake, Syrians continue to wait for aid and search and rescue assistance.

Thousands are thought to be trapped under the rubble whilst others are out in the open in the freezing weather after losing their homes and fearing a third quake.

Roads up to the Bab Al-Hawa crossing, through which aid was once delivered to the last opposition-held territory in Syria, have been damaged by the earthquake.

The Syrian government is insisting that all aid to Syria should be delivered through Damascus, even though Western countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Damascus due to the war.

Russia has used its veto at the UN to shut down other entry points for aid to northwest Syria.

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