Another miraculous rescue in Turkey, where a man was pulled alive from the rubble 278 hours after the devastating February 6 earthquake. Search and rescue teams found the 45-year-old, identified by Anadolu Agency as Hakan Yasinoglu, under the rubble of a collapsed building in Dafne, Hatay province.
But despite the rescue efforts, the death toll continues to rise. Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told CNN Turk that the total number of people killed in Turkey has risen to 39,672. Several thousand people have died in Syria, where the WHO estimated 5,900 people on Sunday.
More than 35,000 people have joined the rescue effort to find survivors and dig through the rubble of about 200 collapsed buildings in 11 Turkish provinces, Vice President Fuat Oktay told reporters in Ankara. Efforts will continue “to the end,” Oktay assured, adding that the search was mainly focused on the hard-hit province of Hatay.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced during a press conference that more than fifty contractors have been arrested for negligence or construction defects on buildings that caused the earthquake’s collapse to add to the death toll.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni today held a telephone conversation with the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Italian Prime Minister “renewed his personal condolences and the solidarity of the Italian government and people for the tragedy of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria”.
Erdogan, reading a note from Palazzo Chigi, “expressed his deep gratitude for Italy’s immediate mobilization in support of Turkey and the affected population, focusing in particular on humanitarian aid and the field hospital supplied by Italy”. The Prime Minister “expressed the great solidarity of the whole nation with Turkey and assured the unrestricted availability for the continuation of the aid and relief measures in coordination with the European partners”.
SYRIA – 171,843 people have been displaced in Syria by the earthquake, which mainly hit the north-west of the country and southern Turkey. This was reported by the humanitarian organization Syria Response Coordination in a statement, stating that “United Nations assistance is still minimal. Only 114 trucks arrived in one week, 93% of which passed through the Bab al-Hawa despite the opening of two other crossings”.
The organization added that another 24 trucks belonging to the international community were to enter Syria through the Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salameh border crossings. A note speaks of “general dissatisfaction in the region with the delay in the arrival of United Nations humanitarian aid.” Which, as we read, “did not exceed 25% of all aid that entered north-west Syria”.