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46,000 dead from deadly earthquakes

February 20, 2023 at 1:33 pm

Search and rescue operations continue after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit Kahramanmaras, Turkiye on February 18, 2023. [Cuma Sarı – Anadolu Agency]

The death toll from the deadly 6 February earthquakes has reached over 45,000 as bodies continue to be pulled out of the rubble.

More than 41,000 of these were in Turkiye and roughly 4,000 in Syria.

The situation in northwest Syria is particularly desperate, with charities making urgent calls for more shelters, water, sanitation equipment and medical supplies.

Many of the people made homeless by the earthquake are sleeping in sports halls, mosques and cars.

Aid did not start to arrive until day four after the road to one of the border crossings was badly damaged.

At the time of the quake there was heavy snow which was also blocking the road and slowing rescue efforts.

READ: MSF makes urgent call for assistance to people in northwest Syria

Efforts were also hampered by the shortage in rescue equipment including advanced thermal equipment.

In Turkiye, where many homeless people are sleeping in tents, survivors are complaining about a lack of toilets and that there is rubbish everywhere. Doctors have warned about the rise of infectious diseases including diarrhoea and rashes that kids are suffering from. Survivors have also died from hypothermia.

Save the Children has warned that the mental health of seven million children is at risk for years to come. Many watched their family and friends die under the rubble and still do not have a safe place to go.

In Turkiye, roughly 105,000 buildings either collapsed or were severely damaged by the earthquakes.