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More than 20,000 people confirmed dead after Turkey-Syria earthquake – as hope fades for more survivors

A devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday has claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people.

At least 20,511, 17,134 in Turkey, and 3,377 in neighboring war-ravaged countries are among the dead.

Both countries were struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which reduced buildings to rubble, and separated families.

Although the crucial 72 hour window in which people are most likely found alive has passed, one rescuer stated that there is still some hope for finding more survivors.


Turkey – Syria earthquake – latest updates

Image People at graves of victims at a cemetery in Kahramanmaras (Turkey

David O’Neill from the UK International Search and Rescue Team stated to Sky News that his teams were still locating people amongst the debris.

“It’s surprising, but it’s encouraging,” stated Mr O’Neill.

“The collapse of these buildings leaves many survivorsable voids and, given the time it took, many people are now wrapped in blankets and other bedding.”

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Turkey is receiving growing criticism from families frustrated by the slow response of rescue teams. As their hope slowly fades, so does their trust.

During a visit in Hatay province where over 3,300 people died and whole neighborhoods were destroyed, Erdogan stated: “It’s impossible to prepare for such a catastrophe.” We won’t leave any of our citizens without care.”

Similar problems are being reported in Syria’s neighboring country, Bassam Sabbagh, UN ambassador to Syria, admitting that the government lacks the necessary capabilities and equipment.

Despite frustration from families about the slow pace of rescue, there are still cases in which those who are trapped beneath the rubble are being saved.

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Baby Helen, aged 68 hours, is rescued from the rubble and Mehmet, aged 10, is found alive after 65 hours.
Image Rescuers transport a eight-year-old Syrian child in Hatay (Turkey).
Image Rescuers held Kerem Agirtas (a 20-day-old survivor) who was pulled out of the rubble in Hatay.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which launched an appeal for money, has received the support of celebrities like Sir Michael Palin, Tamsin Greig, and Daniel Craig – and the backing of Prince and Princess of Wales.

The money will be used to pay for medical treatment, shelter for people who have lost their homes, and blankets, warm clothing, and heaters for safe places.

They also ensure that everyone has enough water and food.

These local volunteers set up aid centers, providing food, water and warm clothing to the affected and transporting supplies to the villages that are most in need.

The UK government will match donations of the public to the PS5m fund.

Prime Minister Rishi Sonak expressed solidarity with Turkey and sent “77 specialist search-and rescue teams” to assist on the ground.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sonak said that the human tragedy after the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria was something

International Search and Rescue (ISAR), volunteers were able to rescue two women, 60 and 90 years old, from the rubble and reunite a mother and her child.

However, smaller search teams have difficulty flying in.

Martin Phillips, a volunteer member of a Wiltshire rescue team, stated that it was frustrating. It is not the Turkish authorities’ fault – they wanted heavy and medium teams in first.

“Usually, the lighter teams are the first to get in and create the path for larger teams.”

“Time is running out”

White Helmets, a Syrian volunteer organisation. According to them, “hundreds” of families were still trapped beneath the rubble.

Image The white Helmets

They posted: “We are at an important point. It is now or never, and hundreds of families remain trapped under the rubble.

“Every second saves a life.”

A miracle baby was born earlier in the week under the rubble. She was rushed to the hospital but her parents were thought to have died, according to Syrian residents.

img alt=”Baby was born in Syria under rubble. He is currently being treated in a hospital.” class=”sdc-article-image__item” intrinsicsize=”768×432″ loading=”lazy” sizes=”(min-width: 1024px) 1024px, 100vw” src=”” srcset=”×216/skynews-earthquake-rescue_6050837.jpg?20230208170247 380w, 760w, 1024w, 2048w”/>
Image A baby born in Syria under rubble is being treated in a hospital.

Gaziantep, Turkey’s first earthquake of higher magnitude, struck early Monday morning. It ravaged parts of southern Syria and the country as people slept.

Following aftershocks decimated more buildings, leaving thousands of people trapped beneath the collapsed ones.

According to the DEC, it anticipates that humanitarian needs will grow over the next few days.

A special program called Disaster Zone: The Turkey–Syria Earthquake will air on Sky News Friday night at 9.30pm


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