Rescuers work for second day to find quake survivors as death toll climbs : NPR

Men search for people amid rubble in a destroyed building in Adana, Turkey, Monday, February 6, 2023.

Khalil Hamra/AP

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Khalil Hamra/AP

Men search for people amid rubble in a destroyed building in Adana, Turkey, Monday, February 6, 2023.

Khalil Hamra/AP

ISTANBUL – Rescue workers swept across Turkey and Syria on Tuesday for a second day of racing to find survivors from a massive earthquake and multiple aftershocks that flattened thousands of buildings. in the region and caused the confirmed death toll to spike to 5,000.

Freezing winter temperatures and dozens of aftershocks from Monday morning’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake have hampered work to sift through the rubble of buildings and search for survivors at risk. hypothermia when the temperature drops below 27 degrees F.

In the city of Adana, where at least 11 buildings have collapsed, NPR’s Ruth Sherlock stands outside a 15-story residential high-rise that has collapsed. Worried relatives watch as rescuers search for survivors under the rubble in freezing temperatures and Sherlock talks to two elderly women and a man crying after one of them their daughters died. “She was so happy,” said one of them, “We couldn’t imagine it would end like this.”

By noon Tuesday, the death toll in Turkey and Syria had exceeded 5,100, including 3,419 in Turkey, with another 20,534 injured in the country, the AP news agency reported. Another 1,602 people were confirmed dead on the Syrian side of the border. Officials warn the toll will continue to rise; The World Health Organization says the death toll in the two countries could eventually exceed 20,000.

The earthquake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time in the Turkish province of Gaziantep, According to the US Geological Survey. It takes place on the East Anatolian Fault, the boundary between the Anatolian Plate, the African Plate, and the Arabian Plate of the Earth’s crust. The largest aftershock, measuring 7.5 magnitude, occurred nearly 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) from the epicenter of the original aftershock on another fault line.

About 13.5 million people have been affected across 10 provinces in Turkey, according to the government. More than 7,800 people in Turkey have been rescued. The government also said more than 11,000 buildings were damaged.

Dozens of countries around the world, including the US, have sent teams to assist in the rescue effort, and the Turkish government says more than 13,000 rescue workers have left Istanbul to help those affected in the disaster. area late Tuesday morning.

The damage from the earthquake and aftershocks has devastated an area that has endured more than a decade of civil war in Syria, a conflict that has driven more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees to Turkey to seek refuge in Turkey. flee from war. An estimated 4.1 million people in the affected area have received UN humanitarian assistance.

Aid groups in the region say the only UN-approved route between Turkey and Syria for international aid shipments has been unusable since the quake struck, further hampering aid groups. back efforts.


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