Earthquake deaths in Syria and Turkey near 25,000
Nuray Lydia Oglu, Kanako Mita, and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
The death toll in the earthquake that hit Gaziantep in south-eastern Turkey with a magnitude of 7.8 is nearing 25,000 people. However, the number of deaths is expected to rise dramatically in Turkey and Syria – according to the United Nations.
Martin Griffiths, a United Nations emergency relief coordinator, shockingly believes that the final death toll might “more than double.”
He continued, “We haven’t really begun to count the number of dead… It must be incredibly difficult to decide when to stop this rescue phase.”
President Tayyip Recep Erdoğan of Turkey gave a warning to looters. He said, “We’ve declared a state of emergency… It means that, from now on, the people who are involved in looting or kidnapping should know that the state’s firm hand is on their backs.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “Syria – neglected initially by petty-minded governments in the European Union and G7 nations – is gradually obtaining greater support from the broader international community.”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, arrived in Syria. He visited the city of Aleppo which was hit by the earthquake.
He said, “We brought in about 35 to 37 tons of medical and health requirements, including antibiotics and biomedical equipment for conducting small operations in the hospitals, asserting that the shipment will enable the health workers to provide the required health services to the affected.”
The Syrian Arab News Agency reports, “President Bashar al-Assad and Mrs. Asma on Saturday arrived in Lattakia city and visited the injured from the earthquake at Tishreen University Hospital.”
In Turkey, the Austrian armed forces suspended operations after clashes emerged between unidentified groups.
Reuters reports, “The Austrian army has suspended rescue operations in quake-hit Turkey due to ‘an increasingly difficult security situation,’ its spokesperson said in a tweet on Saturday.”
Despite the passing days, rescue workers are still finding people alive.
Accordingly, despite the ethnic and religious faultlines – along with terrorist groups in Syria that continue to fight the Syrian government – the governments of Turkey, Syria, and the international community must work together to assist people in the worst-hit areas – who need shelter, clothing, food, and clean water.
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