More than 21,000 People have been confirmed Dead from the Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
More than 21 thousand are the officially confirmed dead in Turkey and Syria in the devastating earthquakes. In Turkey alone, there are more than 17,600 dead and more than 70,000 injured, according to the latest data. Rescuers from dozens of countries continue to pull survivors from the rubble in southeastern Turkey.
According to the latest data, the dead in Syria are over 3,300.
France and Germany have made it clear they will not support lifting sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, as he has called for easier humanitarian aid. Berlin and Paris believe that aid can be organized through non-governmental organizations and the United Nations.
The head of the WHO goes to Syria
The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, has announced that he is leaving for Syria.
"I'm on my way to Syria, where WHO is supporting basic health care in earthquake-affected areas, building on our long-standing work across the country," Tedros Ghebreyesus tweeted.
The WHO has warned of a secondary health crisis threatening Turkey and Syria after the disaster. People need shelter, food, clean water and medical care, the organization said. According to its head, the number of victims will continue to grow.
At the same time, the UN announced that the organization's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, would travel this weekend to the earthquake-affected areas in both Turkey and Syria.
Yesterday, the first UN aid convoy reached rebel-held northwest Syria. The organization described the Bab al-Hawa checkpoint as a lifeline for access to the region, where some 4 million people relied on humanitarian aid even before the earthquake.
Many of the people in the affected region are internal migrants because of the 12-year civil war.
Turkish officials said they would open other crossing points in two days if security was guaranteed.
The U.S. Agency for International Development will provide million in emergency humanitarian aid to Turkey and Syria.
The agency provides emergency food assistance, as well as providing shelter to refugees and recently displaced people, winter gear to help households overcome the cold, critical health services to help with trauma, drinking water, hygiene and sanitation assistance to keep people safe, the agency said in a statement.
In Adiyaman, they complain about the delayed help of the rescuers
Four children between the ages of 2 and 16 were rescued alive from the rubble 64 hours after earthquakes rocked southeastern Turkey on Monday. The children were pulled out by the rescuers from under the rubble of a residential block that collapsed in the city of Gölbashi, Adiyaman district.
But thousands of other people were not so lucky after the destruction of the city. Adiyaman and the villages there are a mountainous area and the movement of the rescue teams on the first day was difficult.
"Nothing is left of Adiyaman," Ramazan Dilbash, a tour guide from the city, told BNR.
“It is hard to say that I am in Adiyaman. I really wanted to say that I was there. But around me now is a foreign, unknown city with ruined buildings and crying people. The buildings that are not destroyed are not inhabited because there is a danger of collapsing.”
“The Lord has poured out all his wrath on us. Nature came down with all her cruelty here. Today is the fourth day and unfortunately half of the trapped people are still under the ruins. Not enough was done the first two days. Very few rescue teams came to our town, and the roads were covered with snow. Getting to the city was difficult. Perhaps the state authorities should have called for more timely help and rescuers in those mountainous parts affected by this disaster. Then there would not be so many victims and crushing sights. Many people also died from the treacherous cold in the area.”
How do you explain the lack of enough teams in Adiyaman?
"The earthquake at the same time hit all areas. Maybe because of this, the rescue teams for us were late. The first day in Adiyaman there were almost no rescue teams. I guess they were trying to rescue in Kahramanmaras, Urfa, Diyarbakir, Malatya, Hatay, who were also at the epicenter of the quake. The teams may have been diverted to them. The second day they arrived, and now it's too late."
What is the bottom line for his family - there is anger and powerlessness in Ramazan’s words:
"I lost my uncle in this tragedy. His 17-year-old daughter and his wife also died. Only the little son of this family of 4 was pulled out alive from the rubble of their home. We lost them, and their 17-year-old girl is gone. Yesterday we took them to the cemetery, it is full of people. With all this suffering, mobile groups want to do an autopsy on the dead. It is known how and from what they died. I have no words!"
We can hear sirens, what's going on?
"Rescue work continues. People are being searched under the ruins. In the center of Adiyaman, every building is 7-8 stories high. At least 20 families live in each block. This morning, four people were from our neighboring building."
“Do you think they’re alive? No, of course… Their bodies were lifeless. And from four days on, more of the trapped people would die of cold. And we haven't come home for four days now and we are sleeping outside.”
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