Earthquake: Turkey and Syria: Death toll rises to more than 15,000

Turkey and Syria: The death toll rises to more than 15,000

Rescue workers and residents search the rubble of collapsed buildings in Harem in the Syrian region of Idlib. photo

© Ghaith Alsayed/AP/dpa

The chances of finding survivors under the rubble decrease by the hour. The steadily rising number of victims shows that almost only the dead are now being recovered.

Three days after the devastating earthquake in the Turkish-Syrian border area, the death toll in Turkey alone has risen by several thousand. There are now 12,391 confirmed fatalities and 62,914 injured, according to the Turkish civil protection authority Afad, according to the state news agency Anadolu on the night.

Just hours earlier, the government had put the number of deaths in Turkey at around 9,000. In Syria, there was talk of around 2,700 deaths. Many people are still missing in both countries.

Third day critical

As the number of victims recovered continues to soar, rescue teams’ chances of finding survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings are diminishing. The critical survival limit is usually around 72 hours, which is around three days.

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.7 to 7.8, shook the Turkish-Syrian border area early Monday morning. Another earthquake of magnitude 7.5 followed in the same region on Monday afternoon. Thousands of buildings collapsed.

International aid rolls in

Pictures from the disaster areas also showed excavators removing rubble during the night. Relatives of those who were buried waited for the news of relief at temperatures around freezing. Meanwhile, further help from abroad is on the way to the unfortunate regions – also from Germany.

The Bundeswehr wants to fly around 50 tons of relief supplies to the disaster area today. A spokesman for the Air Force told the German Press Agency yesterday that the goods would be sent to the area with three Airbus A400M transport aircraft from the military airport in Wunstorf, Lower Saxony. The departure was scheduled for the morning. Teams from various aid organizations had previously flown to Turkey.


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