Earthquake death toll in Turkiye and Syria climbs past 25,000
Freezing winter weather conditions and the sheer scale of the destruction have hampered rescue efforts
By News Desk - February 11 2023

(Photo credit: AAREF WATAD/AFP via Getty Images)

The death toll from Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks continues to rise, with more than 25,000 dead in Turkiye and neighboring Syria.

UN emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths expressed fears that the final death toll from the earthquakes in Syria and Turkiye could eventually exceed 50,000, speaking to Sky News.

“It’s difficult to calculate precisely because we have to keep searching through the rubble, but I’m sure the figure is going to at least double,” Griffiths explained during a visit to care centers in the Turkish city of Adana, where he described the extent of the devastation as “terrifying,” before leaving for the Syrian town of Aleppo.

Although Turkish rescuers are still working, only 67 people have been found alive in the last 24 hours, including a two-month-old baby, while the number of bodies recovered from under the rubble has been growing.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, arrived in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Saturday to tour some hospitals and shelters with Syria’s health minister and the governor of Aleppo.

According to the UN, the catastrophe may have left 5.3 million people homeless in Syria, and 200,000 in Aleppo alone.

Upon arrival, Ghebreyesus said he was accompanying “emergency medical supplies of about 37 metric tons.”

More people have died due to the earthquake than were killed in the 2011 earthquake that shook Japan, sparked a tsunami, killed some 20,000 people, and started the Fukushima nuclear calamity.

As part of the expanding number of countries supplying rescue and medical aid to the region following this week’s terrible earthquake, Cuba made preparations on 10 February to send medical personnel to Turkiye and Syria.

Cuban officials announced the departure of 32 medical professionals for Turkiye, and Syrian ambassador Ghassan Obeid announced earlier in the week that 27 Cuban medical personnel would be traveling to Syria.

Since the Cuban revolution in 1959, the Caribbean nation has dispatched its “armies of white coats” to disease outbreaks and catastrophe areas worldwide.

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