Two separate earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on the same day have claimed the lives of more than 35,000 people and left many more injured. The 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes and the many aftershocks struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6th, causing widespread devastation.
2 girls miraculously survive after being trapped in the rubble for 160 hours.
The search and rescue operations have been ongoing, with some miraculous rescues of survivors, including 11-year-old Lena Maradini and Naide Umay, who were both pulled from the rubble after being trapped for over 160 hours.
Despite these moments of joy, the reality is that the death toll is expected to keep rising, and the search for survivors is becoming increasingly difficult. In Antakya, a southern city in Turkey, Swiss volunteer Asar Taratas, spoke of the challenges facing the search and rescue teams, who are struggling to cope with the sheer number of collapsed buildings and the lack of heavy machinery to move the rubble.
The lack of heavy machineries like bulldozers and diggers to move large blocks of concrete is causing a great amount of stress. Despite this, those who are trapped can still survive for up to two weeks if given water and food while rescuers work to dig them out.
However, with the arrival of critical humanitarian aid and response teams, the focus is shifting toward helping those who have survived. The U.S. Air Force has already delivered over 5,700 tons of life-saving equipment and disaster aid, and more aid is expected to arrive. In Syria, however, aid delivery has been hindered by the decade-long civil war and the availability of only one border crossing for United Nations aid delivery.
US Ambassador appeals to open two additional crossings.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield has appealed to the Security Council to open two additional crossings for the delivery of essential aid to those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. In a statement, she emphasized the urgency of the situation and how the people in the affected areas are relying on the international community to help in their time of need. She appealed to the common humanity of all to come together and support those in need.
The relief coordinator of the agency expresses his disappointment.
Martin Griffiths, the relief coordinator of the agency, expressed his disappointment over the situation in north-west Syria after his visit to the Turkish side of the crossing. To sum it up, he stated in a tweet that it is with a heavy heart that I say, we have not been able to provide enough support to the people in north-west Syria. They have every right to feel forgotten and left behind.
The World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking from the Syrian capital of Damascus, said that the combination of the earthquake, conflict, COVID-19, cholera, and economic decline has taken an unbearable toll on the people in the affected areas.
The earthquakes serve as a stark reminder of the devastating impact of natural disasters and the importance of preparedness and readiness in the face of such events. The authorities have urged the public to stay vigilant and to follow the instructions of the emergency services in the event of future earthquakes.
In conclusion, the death toll from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria continues to rise, and the affected communities are in need of support and assistance. As the search for survivors continues, the world is coming together to support those affected by this devastating disaster. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and with all those affected by this tragedy.