3 Major Updates: Turkey-Syria earthquake ‘worst natural disaster in 100 years’
The World Health Organisation has described the deadly earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria last week as the “worst natural disaster in a century” in what it characterises as its Europe region.
While the alarming death toll is almost certain to rise even further, tens of thousands of survivors are still struggling to meet basic needs, like clean water and shelter from the bitter cold.
The Turkish government has been accused of being unable to take precautions to mitigate the damage. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has acknowledged problems in the initial quake response but has said the situation is now under control.
3 Major Updates
Combined death toll exceeds 41,000
More than 41,000 people in Turkey and neighbouring Syria are now known to have been killed by the tremors. A number of survivors are still being rescued, even after over 200 hours in the rubble. More people could still be alive under the debris, but UN authorities said the rescue phase is gradually coming to a close, as the focus shifts to food, shelter, and schooling.
Nine survivors rescued Tuesday
After over a week since the pre-dawn quake hit, nine survivors were rescued from the rubble in Turkey on Tuesday, including two brothers aged 17 and 21 in Kahramanmaras province and a Syrian man and young woman in Antakya.
UN appeals for $397 million for Syria quake victims
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has launched a nearly $400 million appeal to help quake survivors in war-torn Syria. The world body was also in the final stages of a similar appeal for Turkey, the UN chief mentioned. It comes a day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad opened two new border crossings to facilitate quicker foreign aid delivery to rebel-held areas. A UN convoy comprised of 11 trucks entered northwest Syria via the newly-opened Bab al-Salam crossing on Tuesday.