March 2. 2024. 3:14

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Turkey and Syria earthquake: death toll nears 8,400 as rescuers race to find survivors

Emergency teams are racing to save potentially thousands of victims trapped in rubble as the latest confirmed death toll from Monday’s catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria reached 8,364.

The death toll is expected to increase “significantly”, Syria’s White Helmets emergency rescue organisation said following the earthquake that struck 10 Turkish cities on Monday.

More than 8,000 people so far have been pulled from the debris in Turkey, said the Turkish vice-president, Fuat Oktay. About 380,000 people have taken refuge in government shelters or hotels, with others huddling in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centres

On Tuesday afternoon, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared a disaster zone in the 10 provinces affected by the earthquakes, imposing a state of emergency in the region for three months.

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Turkey-Syria earthquake rescue efforts hampered as death toll passes 7,000

Turkey-Syria earthquake rescue efforts hampered as death toll passes 7,000

‘They are very, very loved. This is a tough time for us’

‘They are very, very loved. This is a tough time for us’

The Irish Times view on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria: another crisis for a troubled region

The Irish Times view on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria: another crisis for a troubled region

The country’s disaster management agency said it had 11,342 reports of collapsed buildings, of which 5,775 had been confirmed. The country’s ministry of transport and infrastructure said that overnight 3,400 people took shelter in trains being used as emergency accommodation.

Turkey has deployed more than 24,400 search-and-rescue personnel to the quake area, and that number is expected to rise.

China’s earthquake rescue team, which has arrived in Turkey, is comprised of 82 members, brought 20 tonnes of medical and other rescue supplies and equipment, as well as four search-and-rescue dogs, according to China Central Television (CCTV).

Separately, civil society rescue teams with at least 52 members from several provinces in China including Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Guangdong are heading to the earthquake-stricken areas in Turkey to carry out the rescue work, CCTV reported.

The United States has announced that it was sending two rescue teams to Turkey. This will arrive Wednesday morning and head to the city of Adiyaman, where search efforts have so far been limited.

The teams, coming on two C-130 transport aircraft, are bringing 158 personnel, 12 dogs and 77,100kg of specialised equipment.

As the scale of the devastation from the 7.8 magnitude tremor continued to unfold, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned the number of casualties could exceed 20,000. Initial rescue efforts were stalled by a second quake on Monday that measured 7.7 magnitude.

Adelheid Marschang, a WHO senior emergency officer, has said about 23 million people, including 1.4 million children, are likely to be affected by the quake. – Guardian