Japan Earthquake, the United Nations sent its first assistance convoy into opposition-controlled Syria on Thursday, three days after a huge earthquake struck the region, killing over 20,000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands across Syria and neighboring Turkey.
Japan Earthquake: Death Toll Goes Up to 81
The official death toll in Turkey has risen to 17,674, making it the country’s biggest earthquake since 1939. Truck shortages, blocked highways, and other logistical challenges are slowing attempts by Turkey’s 100,000-plus rescue workers to locate victims and bury the dead.
And offer relief to desperate survivors. Subzero temperatures and severe shortages of two vital services — heating and electricity — will make their job even more difficult.
Power outages are causing fuel shortages in hospitals across the border in northwestern Syria, where millions displaced by the country’s civil war had been surviving a severe winter without heating when the earthquake struck. Snowfall has hampered rescue attempts there, and temperatures are expected to fall below freezing later Thursday after increasing during the day.
Other significant advancements include:
On Thursday, a three-month state of emergency was declared in ten of Turkey’s 81 provinces after the country’s Parliament approved the decision. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the step on Tuesday in response to the widespread devastation caused by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that devastated the region earlier this week.
Bereaved family members on the Syrian side of the border waited in the terrible cold for the bodies of relatives who died in Turkey, under an Islamic ritual that requires Muslims to be buried within 24 hours of death.
Syria made a formal request for assistance from the European Union, but little has arrived so far — and the country’s civil war is hindering efforts to provide it.
Following an earthquake that left thousands dead, the U.S. State Department reiterated on Thursday that it would not lift sanctions against Syria. It insisted that the policy had no bearing on humanitarian aid reaching the country and demanded that President Bashar al-Assad’s autocratic government allow aid to pass through more border crossings.
A State Department spokesman, Ned Price, told reporters on Thursday that “there are many hurdles to overcome when providing humanitarian assistance in Syria, especially after devastating earthquakes this week,” but that “our Syria sanctions policy is not among them.”
Turkey’s Antalya Following the terrible earthquake, the extended Hacı Abdullah family set up tents near their destroyed apartment building, where some 60 people are currently facing cold conditions.
On Thursday, following the strong earthquakes, people in Kahramanmaras look for their relatives at a sports hall that has been turned into a morgue.
The historic old town of Antakya has completely crumbled. The ancient bazaar has collapsed into debris. The centuries-old Ulu Mosque has been chopped down to nothing. The main square’s historic parliament building has collapsed.
Hundreds of people are vying for blankets and food. While some are optimistic, many cannot find it in the tents erected by the Turkish Red Crescent. They are starving, in need of supplies and sleep, and are unable to escape the debris they know contains their relatives. The survivors in the Defne neighborhood were asking, “Where is the government?” in front of a single piece of debris.
The earthquake in Kahramanmaraş caused significant damage to a private hospital. After the walls collapsed, hospital beds, IV poles, and other medical equipment were visible.
There have been multiple strong and fatal earthquakes in Turkey. The nation is among the seismically active regions in the world because of its two main fault zones, the East Anatolian and the North Anatolian.
For those impacted by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, including the relatives of Syrian refugees who have been relocated in Canada since 2015, Canada may expedite their application process for immigration.
Since 2015, Canada has accepted about 44,000 Syrian refugees, about 22,000 of whom were government-sponsored.
A family in central Kahramanmaraş attempted to salvage everything of value from their demolished home. After a few destroyed homes, a different family discovered a tiny space among the debris and proceeded to prepare tea.
Searchers seeking teenage volleyball players and their teachers who had come to the Turkish city of Adiyaman from northern Cyprus were working feverishly among the rubble of a collapsed hotel.
Three deaths were discovered on Wednesday, including the bodies of two instructors and an eighth-grader, according to the BBC, which quoted Cyprus officials.