The death toll from a massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria rose above 6,200 on Tuesday with rescue workers still searching for trapped survivors.
The number of casualties in Turkey reached 4,544 and 1,712 in Syria, bringing the total to 6,256.
The epicentre of 7.8 earthquake magnitude was about 26 km east of the Turkish city of Nurdagi at a depth of about 18 km on the East Anatolian Fault on Monday. The quake radiated towards the northeast, bringing devastation to central Turkey and Syria. It was followed by more than 50 aftershocks.
The quake was the region’s strongest quake in nearly a century. Rescue operations were hit as officials struggled to pull casualties from the rubble amid rains and temperatures expected to fall to near freezing overnight.
Countries around the world have mobilised rapidly to send aid and rescue workers.
Here’s everything you need to know about the tragedy:
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Tuesday a three-month state of emergency in 10 southeastern provinces hit by a major earthquake that has claimed thousands of lives.
- Turkey said almost 3,000 buildings had collapsed in seven different provinces, including public hospitals.
- The World Health Organization warned up to 23 million people could be affected by the massive earthquake that has killed thousands in Turkey and Syria.
- Freezing winter weather added to the plight of the thousands left injured or homeless and hampering efforts to find survivors.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pledged USD 100 million to Syria and Turkey.
- The EU has mobilised 27 search and rescue and medical teams from 19 countries to help Turkey. They involve over 1,150 rescuers and 70 rescue dogs, EU crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic confirmed Tuesday.
- China said its first rescue teams started work in Turkey on Tuesday and it was sending USD 5.9 million in emergency aid, including rescue and medical teams, state media reported.
- Two of India’s National Disaster Response Force teams comprising 100 personnel with dog squads and equipment were ready to be flown to the affected area, the foreign ministry said. Doctors and paramedics with medicines were also being readied.
- President Vladimir Putin promised to send Russian teams to both countries in telephone calls with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The defence ministry said 300 military personnel deployed in Syria were helping with the clear-up effort.
(With inputs from AP, Reuters & AFP)
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