Deaths in Turkey, Syria earthquake exceeds 11,000
The death toll of people caught up in the Turkey and Syria earthquake has risen to more than 11,000, making this the deadliest quake worldwide in over a decade.
Amid calls for the Turkish government to send more help to the disaster zone, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured a “tent city” in Kahramanmaras where people forced from their homes live.
He accepted that the government failed to respond early but vowed that no one would “be left in the streets.”
Rescue teams from over 24 countries have joined the local emergency personnel, and aid from around the world is being pledged towards helping Turkey and Syria during these times.
According to AP reports, the scale of destruction from the 7.8 magnitude quake and its powerful aftershocks was so immense — and spread so wide, including in areas isolated by Syria’s ongoing civil war — that many are still waiting for help.
In the Turkish city of Malatya, bodies were placed side by side on the ground, covered in blankets, while rescuers waited for funeral vehicles to pick them up,
According to a former journalist, Ozel Pikal, who saw eight bodies pulled from the ruins of a building.
Pikal, who participated in the rescue efforts, believes that some of the victims may have frozen to death as temperatures dipped to minus 6 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit).
“Today isn’t a pleasant day, because as of today, there is no hope left in Malatya,” Pikal told the AP by telephone. “No one is coming out alive from the rubble.”
Pikal said a hotel building collapsed in the city, and more than a hundred people may be trapped.
Amidst the thousands of death, a baby was found alive with her umbilical cord still connected to her mother, who was found dead.
Meanwhile, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has pledged Nigeria’s readiness to provide full support in any way possible to Turkey and Syria over the deadly earthquake that occurred in parts of the countries.
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