Home » Earthquake death toll in Turkey, Syria tops 4,000 as rescuers face tough conditions

Earthquake death toll in Turkey, Syria tops 4,000 as rescuers face tough conditions

by Ghassan

(MAINNEWS) – The death toll from a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria kept climbing to more than 4,000 people as rescuers searching for survivors confronted tough weather conditions early Tuesday.

Desperate cries from those trapped among the rubble could be heard by first responders bracing rain, snow and ongoing seismic activity, including one 7.5 magnitude jolt that was nearly as strong as the original quake.

Relatives of missing people waited anxiously as workers lifted heavy slabs of concrete to reach buried bodies.

One woman sobbed after her apartment building was leveled in the Turkish city of Adana.

“My grandson is 1 1/2 years old. Please help them, please. … They were on the 12th floor,” Imran Bahur cried out Monday.

Rescue workers and civilians conduct search and rescue operations in the rubble of a collapsed building following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Syria.

Huseyin Yayman, a Turkish legislator, said several of his loved ones were trapped under their collapsed homes.

“There are so many other people who are also trapped,” the Hatay province resident told HaberTurk television by phone.

“There are so many buildings that have been damaged. People are on the streets. It’s raining, it’s winter.”

More than 7,800 people have been rescued across 10 Turkish provinces, an official said.

Emergency teams search for people in the rubble of a destroyed building in Gaziantep, Turkey, Feb. 6, 2023.

Tens of thousands of people in those 10 provinces took shelter in shopping centers, stadiums, mosques and other community centers. About 5,600 buildings were destroyed, officials said.

Hospitals were also damaged and one in the city of Iskenderun was gone.

In addition to the devastating death toll, over 17,000 people suffered injuries.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a seven-day national mourning as offers of help poured in from dozens of countries for his country and Syria. President Biden called Erdogan to offer help and convey his condolences. Search-and-rescue teams were being sent, the White House said.

Ruined residential buildings following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred in the Pazarcık district of KahramanmaraŠon Feb. 6, 2023.
dia images via Getty Images

Among the help offered by the US were dozens of members of the internationally-known Los Angeles Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue team, who were on their way to help in the rescue mission.

And Israel and Russia even offered to help the Syrian government, though it was not clear if they would go to rebel-held areas. The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense called the situation in that area “disastrous.”

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At a hospital in Idlib, Osama Abdel Hamid said he was one of the few to survive the collapse of a four-story building where he and others lived. As he raced out with his wife and three children, a wooden door fell on them that shielded them from dangerous debris.

“God gave me a new lease on life,” he said.

By David Propper

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