Tags: Turkey | Earthquake | The Latest

Live Updates | Turkey, Syria Earthquake Kills Thousands

Live Updates | Turkey, Syria Earthquake Kills Thousands

Tuesday, 07 February 2023 02:00 AM EST

ADANA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of southeast Turkey and northern Syria early Monday.

The medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders says a staff member has been found dead under the rubble of his house in Syria’s Idlib province following the powerful earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey.

The group says other members of the organization also lost families.

“We are very shocked and saddened by the impact of this disaster on the thousands of people touched by it, including our colleagues and their families,” said Sebastien Gay, the group’s head of mission in Syria.

Gay said health facilities in northern Syria were overwhelmed with medical personnel working around the clock to respond to the huge numbers of injured.

The quake-damaged area in Syria is divided between government-held territory and the country’s last opposition-held enclave, which is surrounded by government forces and borders Turkey.

Gay said the needs are very high in northwestern Syria, where the earthquake added a dramatic layer for vulnerable people who are still struggling after many years of war. “The massive consequences of this disaster will require a (scaled up) international aid effort,” he said.


— The death toll in Turkey and Syria is expected to rise after the earthquake toppled thousands of buildings.

— Rescuers worked to pull more survivors from the rubble as cold, snowy conditions shorten the time needed to save lives.

— The earthquake wreaked new damage and suffering in Syria’s last rebel-held enclave after years of fighting and bombardment.

— Dozens of countries are sending experts and aid to help rescue efforts.

— What to know about the science behind the powerful quake and its aftershocks.

— Soccer player Christian Atsu is missing and believed trapped under rubble.

— A glance at some of the world’s deadliest earthquakes since 2000.

— Find more AP coverage of the earthquake at https://apnews.com/hub/earthquakes

India and South Korea are among nations sending rescue personnel and supplies after a devastating earthquake hit Turkey and northern Syria.

India said it would send 100 members of its Natural Disaster Response Force, specially trained dog squads and equipment to Turkey. Medical teams with trained doctors, paramedics and essential medicines are also ready, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

South Korea will dispatch a 60-person search and rescue team with medical supplies. It's also donating an initial $5 million to Turkey.

In announcing the plan Tuesday, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol described Turkey as a “brother nation” that sent troops to fight alongside South Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War. Turkey lost more than 700 of its forces in action.

Jeon Ha Gyu, spokesperson of South Korea’s Defense Ministry, said the ministry was arranging plans with related agencies to mobilize military aircraft to transport the rescue workers and aid supplies.

“It’s an obvious decision to help our brother nation Turkey to deal with this pain and difficulty,” Yoon said during a Cabinet meeting. “An incident involving such enormous casualties is more than just a disaster of a certain nation and should be seen as an international disaster, and the international society should fully perform its duty and responsibility.”

War-ravaged Syria is calling on the United Nations and all member states to help with rescue efforts, health services, shelter and food aid following a massive earthquake that killed thousands in Syria and Turkey.

The quake-damaged area in Syria is divided between government-held territory and the country’s last opposition-held enclave, which is surrounded by government forces and borders Turkey.

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh told reporters the U.N. secretary-general “assured us that the U.N. will do all it’s possible in helping Syria in this very difficult situation.” Sabbagh said he had delivered a letter to Guterres from the country’s foreign minister requesting help.

Sabbagh was asked whether Syria would agree to allow the U.N. to deliver aid through other crossing points from Turkey, if that is feasible. He didn’t respond directly, but said the government is ready to help and coordinate aid deliveries “to all Syrians in all territory of Syria.”

The rebel-held territory has depended on a flow of aid from nearby Turkey for everything from food to medical supplies.

President Joe Biden called Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday to express condolences. The White House in statement said that Biden underscored “the readiness of the United States to provide any and all needed assistance” to its NATO ally Turkey.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the Biden administration was sending two, 79-person urban search and rescue teams to support Turkey’s efforts.

Biden and Erdogan discussed other assistance that may be needed by people affected by the earthquakes, including health services or basic relief items, according to the White House.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared seven days of national mourning following the deadly quakes that hit the country Monday. Turkish flags will fly at half-staff across the nation and at its diplomatic missions overseas.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at least 1,651 were dead and 11,119 injured across ten provinces. Hundreds more reported dead in neighboring Syria.

The Roman Catholic official responsible for the church’s properties across the Middle East is offering food and shelter to victims of Monday’s earthquake.

The Rev. Francesco Patton, the Jerusalem-based Custos of the Holy Land, says he will open all of the church’s buildings in northern Syria to provide shelter for families who have lost their homes.

His office, the Custodia Terrae Sanctae, says the properties can shelter hundreds of people and provide food and medical care for thousands.

Diplomats from the 193 member countries of the United Nations have stood in silent tribute to victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi on Monday extended “our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences” to the government and people of both countries.

He then asked diplomats “to stand and observe a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives.” Kőrösi spoke at the start of a meeting to hear Secretary-General Antonio Guterres outline his priorities for 2023.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said such a disaster could hit “once in a hundred years” and that his country should be prepared for the death toll to rise.

Oktay also said some 145 aftershocks have been registered following the deadly quake overnight, with three that were larger than 6.0 magnitude.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said the European Union “stand ready to offer our support” to Turkey as well. Sweden currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

The president of Turkey’s disaster management authority, Yunus Sezer, says more than 40 countries have so far offered help.

Turkey’s minister of education said schools throughout the country’s 81 provinces would be closed until Feb. 13 following the deadly earthquake.

Schools were closed for a two-week holiday and were set to open Monday but had remained shut in some cities because of snowstorms.

Britain is sending 76 search-and-rescue specialists with equipment and dogs, as well as an emergency medical team, to Turkey.

The U.K. government said the teams, due later Monday, were bringing equipment including seismic listening devices, concrete cutting and breaking equipment, propping and shoring tools.

British Ambassador-designate Jill Morris said that “the British Embassy in Ankara is in close contact with the Turkish authorities to understand how we can best support those on the ground.”

The U.K. also says it’s in contact with the U.N. about getting support to victims in Syria.

A number of other countries joined the expanding international relief effort, including the United Arab Emirates which will set up a field hospital in Turkey and Qatar which was sending rescuers and emergency supplies.

Romania, Spain and Poland joined a European Union effort, sending rescuers, medics, dogs and specialized equipment. ___ While most of the international aid was headed for Turkey, Russia said it also planned to send assistance directly to its close ally Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar Assad in a phone call that Moscow will deliver urgent aid and send rescue workers to assist the earthquake-hit country. The Russian military in Syria has deployed 10 units numbering 300 people that started clearing the debris and searching for survivors, the Russian Defense Ministry said. ___

Egypt and Liverpool soccer star Mohamed Salah has offered condolences to Syrians and Turks following Monday’s devastating earthquake.

The striker wrote on Twitter: “Terrible news coming out of Syria and Turkey. My condolences for the lives lost and I wish all those injured a full recovery.”

The World Health Organization says it is helping a massive international effort to support Turkey and Syria deal with devastating earthquake damage and is in contact with Turkish authorities.

Hans Kluge, head of the WHO in Europe, said Monday that regional offices of the United Nations agency in the eastern Mediterranean were assisting the expanding international effort to swiftly transport medicine and relief equipment to quake-hit areas.

Kluge wrote in a tweet, “Amid the devastation wrought by today’s earthquake in Turkey ‒ a WHO Europe member state ‒ and Syria, deep condolences to all affected communities."

Japan's Foreign Ministry says the country is sending a group of about 75 rescue workers to Turkey to help in search and rescue operations.

An advance team of 18 people, including officials from the ministry, police, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, Japan Coast Guard and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is to leave later Monday to set up their operation.

The ministry said Japan is dispatching the team as part of its emergency humanitarian support at the request of the Turkish government and based on humanitarian considerations as well as Japan’s friendship with Turkey.

Separately, the Swiss rescue dog service REDOG said it is preparing to send 22 rescuers with 14 dogs to the earthquake-hit region of Turkey.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

- The Latest on the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of southeast Turkey and northern Syria early Monday.The medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders says a staff member has been found dead under the rubble of his house in Syria's Idlib province...
Turkey,Earthquake,The Latest
Tuesday, 07 February 2023 02:00 AM
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