Turkey ends rescue work after 13 days

Turkey ends rescue work after 13 days

The search for survivors lasted nearly two weeks. It is now being discontinued in almost all provinces.

Nearly two weeks after the devastating earthquake in the Turkish-Syrian border area, rescue operations in almost all affected provinces in Turkey have been halted. The search for possible survivors continues in just about 40 buildings in Kahramanmaras and Hatay provinces, Turkish civil protection chief Yunus Sezer said on Sunday.

The epicenter of the February 6 earthquake was in Kahramanmaras. More than 105,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged in Turkey alone, and at least 44,000 people lost their lives in Syria and Turkey. Thousands of people are still missing. Given the low temperatures and the passage of time, their chances of survival are very slim. However, a rescue team managed to pull two more people alive from the rubble in Turkey on Saturday.

Millions of Syrians affected

According to the United Nations, 8.8 million people in Syria are affected by the aftermath of the earthquake disaster. “Most of them are expected to be in need of some form of humanitarian assistance,” Syrian Deputy UN Envoy Najat Rochdi wrote on Twitter on Sunday. In the days following the February 6 earthquake, activists and aid workers in rebellious areas of northwest Syria complained about a lack of UN aid.

The number of reported deaths was almost unchanged on Sunday compared to the previous day. The Turkish civil protection agency Afad counted 40,689 dead, 47 more than the day before. In Syria, around 5,900 deaths were reported in connection with the tremors. The number is updated less frequently.

The disaster hit the region hard in many ways. It is difficult to predict what the consequences will be for students and the classroom. Yasmine Sherif, director of the UN Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund, told Al-Jazeera TV that 600 schools were destroyed in Syria alone. The fund is expected to provide $7 million (about €6.5 million) in emergency grants to help children in Syria continue to have access to education.