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The number of victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria reached 7100 peopleTAZAA News

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The death toll from the powerful earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Tuesday has reached more than 7,100, according to official data, while rescuers are still searching for survivors.

Officials and doctors said that 5,434 people died in Turkey and 1,712 in Syria, and their total number reached 7,146.

The quake, which caused more suffering in an already conflict-ridden border region, saw people burning in the streets to try to stay warm while international aid arrived.

But some extraordinary tales of survival have emerged, including a newborn born alive from the rubble of Syria, still alive from the umbilical cord of his mother, who died in Monday’s earthquake.

“We heard a noise while we were digging,” Khalil al-Suwadi, a relative, told AFP. “We cleared the dust and found the baby with the umbilical cord (changed) and cut it and my uncle took him to the hospital.”

This baby is the only survivor of his immediate family, the rest of whom were killed in the city of Jindairis under the control of the rebels.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck while people were asleep on Monday, leveling thousands of structures, trapping an unknown number of people and possibly affecting millions.

All rows of buildings collapsed and near the epicenter of the earthquake between the cities of Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras in Turkey, the worst damage was caused.

This destruction caused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare a three-month state of emergency in 10 southeastern provinces on Tuesday.

In the city of Kahramanmarash in southeastern Turkey, eyewitnesses struggled to understand the scale of the disaster.

“We thought it was the end of the world,” said Melissa Salmon, 23, a reporter. “It was the first time we’ve ever experienced anything like this.”

There are fears that the death toll will continue to rise, with World Health Organization officials putting as many as 20,000 dead.

In Goziantepe, a Turkish city home to countless refugees from Syria’s decades-long civil war, rescue workers screamed and cried and screamed for safety through the rubble as another building collapsed without warning.

The first earthquake was so big that it was felt as far away as Greenland, and its impact is big enough to trigger a global response.

Dozens of nations from Ukraine to New Zealand have pledged to send aid, although freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures have slowed the response.

In the southeastern Turkish city of Sanliurfa, rescuers worked late into the night to pull survivors from the rubble of a collapsed seven-story building.

“There is a family I know under the rubble,” said Omer El Kuneid, a 20-year-old Syrian student.

“By 11:00 or noon, my friend would answer the phone. But she’s not answering anymore. She’s downstairs.”

Despite the cold weather outside, terrified residents spent the night on the streets, huddled around fires to keep warm.

Mustafa Koyunju put his wife and five children in their car, who were too afraid to move.

“We can’t go home,” the 55-year-old told AFP. “Everybody’s scared.”

Some of the worst damage occurred near the epicenter between Kahramanmaras and Goziantep, where entire city blocks were buried under snow.

23 million may be affected

There are fears that the death toll will continue to rise, with WHO officials estimating that up to 20,000 people have died.

The WHO warned that up to 23 million people could be affected by the powerful earthquake and called on countries to help the disaster zone.

The Syrian Red Crescent has called on Western countries to lift sanctions and provide aid as President Bashar al-Assad’s government remains a pariah in the West, complicating international aid efforts.

Washington and the European Commission said Monday that the humanitarian programs they support are responding to the destruction in Syria.

The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO also said it was ready to help after two of its world heritage sites were damaged in Syria and Turkey.

In addition to the damage to the ancient city of Aleppo and the citadel in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, UNESCO said at least three other world heritage sites were damaged.

Much of the earthquake-hit region of northern Syria has already been devastated by fighting and airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces that have destroyed homes, hospitals and clinics.

Residents of the earthquake-ravaged town of Jandairis in northern Syria used their bare hands and chickens to search for survivors because it was all they could do.

– “Apocalypse” –

The US Geological Survey said the first quake struck at 4:17 a.m. (0117 GMT) on Monday at a depth of about 18 kilometers (11 miles) near the Turkish city of Goziantepe, home to about two million people.

Turkey’s disaster management agency says more than 14,000 people have been injured so far, while Syria says at least 3,411 have been injured.

Officials said three major airports were out of order, making it difficult to deliver vital aid.

The winter storm covered the main roads in this area in ice and snow.

Much of the earthquake-hit region of northern Syria has already been devastated by fighting and airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces that have destroyed homes, hospitals and clinics.

The conflict is already shaping an emergency response, with Syria’s UN envoy, Bassam Sabbagh, apparently rejecting the reopening of border crossings that would allow aid to reach areas controlled by rebel groups.

The Syrian Ministry of Health reported damage in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus, where Russia leases a naval facility.

Even before the tragedy, buildings in Aleppo—Syria’s pre-war commercial hub—were often collapsing due to dilapidated infrastructure damaged by a lack of wartime oversight.

As a precaution, officials cut off natural gas and electricity throughout the region and closed schools for two weeks.

The cultural institution of the United Nations, UNESCO, has expressed concern about the heavy damages in two cities on its heritage list – Aleppo in Syria and Diyarbakir in Turkey.

In a prison that mostly holds members of the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria, prisoners rioted after the earthquake and at least 20 escaped, a source in the facility told AFP.

The United States, the European Union and Russia all immediately sent condolences and offers of help.

President Joe Biden has promised his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that the United States will send “any and all” aid needed to rebuild after a devastating earthquake.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also offered to provide “necessary assistance” to Turkey, whose combat drones are helping Kyiv fight Russian aggression.

Turkey is located in one of the most active earthquake zones in the world.

The last earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred in 1939, when 33 thousand people were killed in the eastern province of Erzinjan.

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the Duzca region of Turkey in 1999, killing more than 17,000 people.

Experts have long warned that a strong earthquake could destroy Istanbul, a metropolis of 16 million people full of ruined homes.


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