Summary of news
- The death toll after earthquakes in Turkey and Syria exceeds 45,000.
- Rescue teams are still trying to find survivors under the rubble.
- After 12 days, the chances of finding people alive are minimal.
Work to rescue the victims continues 12 days after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Maxim Shemetov/Portal 02/18/2023
More than 45,000 people were killed in the quake in Turkey and Syria, and the number is expected to rise as around 264,000 homes in Turkey are destroyed and many remain missing while rescue workers search under the rubble for signs of life.
The death toll in Turkey since the quake stands at 39,672, while neighboring Syria has reported more than 5,800 deaths. Syria’s count hasn’t changed in days.
While many international rescue teams left the vast earthquake area, national teams continued their search in destroyed buildings on Saturday (18), hoping to find more survivors, defying all odds. Experts say most rescue efforts occur within 72 hours of an earthquake.
Rescue of a Syrian family
Twelve days after the earthquake, workers in Kyrgyzstan tried to rescue a Syrian family of five from the rubble of a building in the southern Turkish city of Antakya.
Three people, including a child, were rescued alive. The mother and father survived, but the child died of dehydration, rescuers said. An older sister and a twin did not survive.
“We heard screams an hour ago today as we were digging. When we find people alive, we’re always happy,” Atay Osmanov, a member of the rescue team, told Portal.
Ten ambulances were waiting on a nearby street that was closed for rescue work.
Workers asked for complete silence and for everyone to crouch or sit while crews climbed onto the rubble of the building where the family was found to listen through an electronic detector for any further noise.
As rescue efforts continued, a worker shouted toward the rubble, “Take a deep breath if you can hear my voice.”
Workers later halted their searches when bulldozers arrived and climbed into the rubble to begin clearing.
Survivor located at 278 hours
Hakan Yasinoglu, in his 40s, was rescued in Hatay province in southern Turkey, 278 hours after the 7.8magnitude earthquake that struck in the middle of the night on February 6, Istanbul Fire Department said.
Earlier, Osman Halebiye, 14, and Mustafa Avci, 34, were rescued in Turkey’s historic city of Antakya, known in ancient times as Antioch. Avci held a video call with her parents, who showed her their newborn baby.
“I had lost all hope. It’s a true miracle. They gave me my son back. I saw the rubble and thought that nobody could be saved alive from there,” his father said.
Aid agencies say survivors will need help in the coming months as so much vital infrastructure is destroyed.
In neighboring Syria, already wracked by more than a decade of civil war, the country’s northwest, an area controlled by insurgents at war with President Bashar alAssad a conflict that has seen the highest number of deaths Efforts to help have undermined people affected by the earthquake.
Thousands of Syrians who sought refuge in Turkey after their country’s civil war have returned to their homeland in the war zone at least for the time being.
Unknown number of missing
Neither Turkey nor Syria have provided any information on how many people are still missing after the earthquake.
Anger is growing among families still hoping to save relatives in Turkey at what they see as corrupt building practices and a deeply flawed urban development that has led to the dissolution of thousands of homes and businesses.
One such building was the Ronesans Rezidans (Renaissance Residence) which collapsed in Antakya, killing hundreds.
“It’s supposed to be earthquakeproof, but you can see the result,” said Hamza Alpaslan, 47, whose brother lived in the apartment building. “It’s in terrible shape. It has no real cement or iron. It’s a real hell hole.”
Turkey has vowed to investigate anyone suspected of responsibility for the collapsed buildings and ordered the arrest of more than 100 suspects, including construction workers.
On Thursday, the United Nations requested more than $1 billion in funds for Turkey’s relief effort, launching a $400 million appeal for Syrians.
Veterinarians rescue calf trapped in rubble in Turkey
The earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey on the 6th has already left more than 40,000 dead. Most of the casualties occurred after thousands of buildings collapsed in the region near the quake’s epicenter in southern Turkey.
But it’s not just people trapped under the rubble. Pets like cats and dogs also needed help, relying on rescuers to pull them out of the mountains of twisted iron and concrete.
Although less common, animals such as cows have also been trapped in the rubble. This team of veterinarians went to Hatay, one of the areas most affected by the earthquake, to rescue this calf.
At least seven people had to work to rescue the animal, which was trapped in the rubble for at least six days.
After the release, the calf was handed over to the owners. There is no information about the health of the animal.
Copyright © ThomsonReuters.