This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Death toll in Turkey, Syria earthquake nears 20,000


Tens of thousands of people who lost their homes in a catastrophic earthquake huddled around campfires in the bitter cold and clamored for food and water Thursday, three days after the temblor hit Turkey and Syria and killed more than 19,300.

TOPSHOT – A rescuer reacts as he carries a body found in the rubble in Adana on February 6, 2023, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country’s south-east. The combined death toll has risen to over 1,900 for Turkey and Syria after the region’s strongest quake in nearly a century on February 6, 2023. Turkey’s emergency services said at least 1,121 people died in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, with another 783 confirmed fatalities in Syria, putting that toll at 1,904. (Photo by Can EROK / AFP)

Emergency crews used pick axes, shovels and jackhammers to dig through twisted metal and concrete — and occasionally still pulled out survivors. But in some places, their focus shifted to demolishing unsteady buildings.

While stories of miraculous rescues briefly buoyed spirits, the grim reality of the hardship facing survivors cast a pall over devastated communities. The number of deaths surpassed the toll of a 2011 earthquake off Fukushima, Japan, that triggered a tsunami, killing more than 18,400 people.

In northwest Syria, the first UN aid trucks to enter the rebel-controlled area from Turkey since the quake arrived, underscoring the difficulty of getting help to people in the country riven by civil war. In the Turkish city of Antakya, dozens scrambled for aid in front of a truck distributing children’s coats and other supplies.

One survivor, Ahmet Tokgoz, called for the government to evacuate people from the region. Many of those who have lost their homes found shelter in tents, stadiums and other temporary accommodation, but others have slept outdoors.

“Especially in this cold, it is not possible to live here,” he said. “If people haven’t died from being stuck under the rubble, they’ll die from the cold.”

Winter weather and damage to roads and airports have hampered the response in both Turkey and Syria. Some in Turkey have complained the response was too slow — a perception that could hurt President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a time when he faces a tough battle for reelection in May.

In the Turkish town of Elbistan, rescuers stood atop the rubble from a collapsed home and pulled out an elderly woman.

Teams urged quiet in the hopes of hearing stifled pleas for help, and the Syrian paramedic group known as the White Helmets noted that “every second could mean saving a life.”

But more and more often, the teams pulled out dead bodies. In Antakya, over 100 bodies were awaiting identification in a makeshift morgue outside a hospital.

With the chances of finding people alive in the rubble dwindling, teams in some places began demolishing buildings.