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Turkiye declares 3-month state of emergency in 10 provinces

February 8, 2023 at 2:15 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 23, 2023 [Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan yesterday declared a three-month state of emergency in ten southern provinces hit by devastating earthquakes on Monday.

“We are facing one of the biggest disasters, not only in the history of our republic, but also in our region and the world,” Erdogan said in televised remarks.

“We are working to manage the disaster, coordinate rescue operations, and communicate with those concerned in order to provide the necessary assistance,” he said, noting that the massive destruction and adverse weather hinder the search and rescue efforts, yet all capabilities are allocated to help the victims.

Emphasising the provision of aid to all without political discrimination, he pointed out that 54,000 camps have been established for those affected, and an initial amount of 100 billion Turkish liras ($5.32 billion) had been allocated for assistance.

Erdogan explained that 70 countries have offered assistance in search and rescue after the earthquake.

Rescue efforts are continuing for the third day in the ten states affected by the devastating earthquake.

READ: Death toll from deadly earthquake surpasses 11,000

Visiting the areas affected by the earthquakes today, Erdogan admitted the rescue operation had faced challenges. “We had some problems in airports and roads but we are better today. We will be better tomorrow and later. We still have some issues with fuel…but we will overcome those too,” he said.

Turkiye has already raised the alert level to four and called for international assistance in search and rescue efforts.

The number of dead in Turkiye has reached 8,754 and 2,470 in Syria after the earthquakes levelled buildings, destroyed bridges and cut power across the region. The World Health Organisation has estimated that the final figure will be closer to 20,000 and that 23 million could be impacted.