Azmarin, Syria — Rescue teams in Turkey and war-torn Syria vow to rescue more survivors from the rubble after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that killed more than 4,000 people across a wide area and destroyed thousands of buildings. Expecting, I searched from the frigid night until Tuesday.
The death toll in Turkey and Syria rose to 4,332, according to the latest information 24 hours after the quake hit.
Officials feared the death toll would continue to rise as rescuers searched for survivors among a tangle of metal and concrete in a region plagued by Syria’s 12-year civil war and refugee crisis. .
Awakened by the pre-dawn earthquake, residents rushed outside to escape falling debris in the rain and snow, while trapped residents screamed for help. Throughout the day, large aftershocks rattled the area, containing shocks nearly as strong as the initial quake. After dawn, workers were still cutting slabs and pulling out corpses while desperate families awaited news about trapped loved ones.
“My grandchildren are one and a half years old. Please help them. I haven’t heard from them since morning and I haven’t heard from them. Please, they were on the 12th floor.” Imran Bahr destroyed her I cried by the abandoned apartment building. in the Turkish city of Adana. Her daughter and her family have yet to be found.
Tens of thousands of homeless people in Turkey and Syria spent the night in the cold. In the Turkish capital Gaziantep, about 33 kilometers from the epicenter, people took refuge in shopping malls, stadiums and community centers. Mosques were opened around the area to provide shelter.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared seven days of national mourning.
An earthquake centered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Karamanmaras has caused residents of Damascus and Beirut to rush into the streets and was felt as far away as Cairo.
The earthquake has added to the devastation in an area that has been devastated over the past decade. On the Syrian side, the region is split between government-held territory and enclaves held by the country’s last opposition, which are surrounded by Russian-backed government forces. Meanwhile, Turkey is home to millions of refugees from the civil war.
Hundreds of families remain trapped in rubble in rebel-held enclaves, an opposition emergency group called the White Helmets said in a statement. The area is packed with about 4 million people displaced from the rest of the country by the war. Many of them live in buildings already destroyed by past bombings.
Rescue workers said strained medical facilities quickly filled up with the injured. Other facilities, including a maternity hospital, had to be evacuated, according to the SAMS medical agency.
More than 7,800 people have been rescued in 10 provinces, according to Orhan Tatar, an official with Turkey’s disaster management agency.
The region lies on a major fault line and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. A similar earthquake in northwestern Turkey in 1999 killed about 18,000 people.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured Monday’s quake at a magnitude of 7.8 and a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles). A few hours later, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck more than 60 miles (100 km) away.
In the second jolt of the afternoon, a high-rise apartment building collapsed head-on onto the road in the Turkish city of Şanlıurfa. Video from the scene showed the structure collapsing into rubble and a cloud of dust rising as bystanders screamed.
Thousands of buildings have been reported to have collapsed in areas ranging from the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Hama to Diyarbakir, Turkey, more than 330 kilometers (200 miles) northeast.
Officials say more than 5,600 buildings have been destroyed in Turkey alone. Hospitals were damaged and he one collapsed in the Turkish city of Iskenderun.
Dr Stephen Godby, a natural disaster expert at Nottingham Trent University, says the bitter cold could reduce the time rescuers need to save trapped survivors. He said the difficulty of operating in an area plagued by civil war would further complicate relief efforts.
Offers of help flooded in from dozens of countries, the European Union and NATO, ranging from search and rescue teams to medical supplies and funding. The majority were for Turkey, and Russia and Israel had also pledged support to the Syrian government, but it was not clear if any would go into the pockets of the ravaged rebels in the northwest.
The opposition Syrian Civil Defense Service described the situation in the enclave as “dire.”
Rebel-held areas, mainly in Idlib governorate, have been under siege for years due to frequent Russian and government airstrikes. The territory depends on aid flows from neighboring Turkey for everything from food to medical supplies.
At a hospital in Idlib, Osama Abdel Hamid said most of his neighbors had died. He said his four-story building they shared collapsed just as he, his wife, and his three children ran for the exit. A wooden door fell over them and acted as a shield.
“God has given me a new lease on life,” he said.
In Azmarin, a small Syrian rebel-controlled town in a mountainous area near the border with Turkey, the corpses of several children wrapped in blankets were taken to hospital.
Turkish TV stations broadcast relief efforts live in the worst-hit provinces on four or five screens.
In the city of Kahramammaras, rescuers pulled two children alive from the rubble. Turkish broadcaster CNN Tak said she was pulled alive in Gaziantep after a rescue dog found her.
In Adana, about 20 people, some in emergency rescue jackets, used power saws to scale and rescue survivors on the concrete pile of a collapsed building. carved out a space for
“I have no more strength,” rescue workers could be heard yelling from under the rubble of another building in Adana earlier in the day.
In Diyarbakir, hundreds of rescue workers and civilians line up across a pile of rubble, handing out broken pieces of concrete, household items and other debris while searching for trapped survivors while an excavator is underneath. I dug the rubble.
At least 2,316 people have been killed and more than 13,000 injured in 10 Turkish provinces, according to Turkish officials. The death toll in government-held areas of Syria has reached her 656, with about 1,400 injured, according to the health ministry. In the rebel-held northwest of the country, at least 450 people were killed and hundreds injured, according to groups operating there.
Hussein Yaiman, a parliamentarian for Turkey’s Hatay province, said several members of his family were trapped under the rubble of a collapsed house.
“A lot of other people are trapped,” he told HaberTurk TV by phone. “There are a lot of damaged buildings. People are on the streets. It’s raining. It’s winter.” “
Alsayed reported from Azmarin, Syria, and Fraser from Ankara, Turkey. Associated Press writers Zeynep Bilginsoy of Istanbul, Bassem Mroue and Kareem Chehayeb of Beirut, and Kim Tong-hyung of Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://abc7ny.com/gaziantep-turkey-earthquake-syria-2023/12776048/ Gaziantep, Turkey Earthquake 2023: Over 4,000 dead after powerful earthquake rocks Turkey, Syria