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earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria

earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria

Rescue teams were searching for survivors from the massive earthquake and aftershocks that flattened buildings in parts of Turkey and Syria this week, as the death toll surpassed 11,000 on Wednesday.

The big picture: Officials warned the death toll would likely rise, as rescue teams searched the rubble of buildings razed by the magnitude 7.8 quake that struck at 4:17am Monday local time (1:17 GMT) just north of Turkey’s Gaziantep, near the Syrian border. Hundreds of thousands of others were injured in the disaster.

earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria
A screenshot of a tweet from the Metropolitan Municipality of Şanlıurfa showing the earthquake damage in the southeastern Turkish city. It says the city is in a “state of mobilization with all our operators, outreach teams, staff and volunteers.” Photo: Metropolitan Municipality of Şanlıurfa/Twitter
  • Tremors were felt in Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt.
  • A second earthquake of 7.5 magnitude struck around the same area Monday afternoon, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared a three-month state of emergency in the provinces hit by the earthquake.
  • Erdoğan said Tuesday that 70 countries had offered to assist in search and rescue operations and that the state of emergency would help ensure that the operations could be carried out as quickly as possible, Al Jazeera reported.

By the numbers: At least 8,500 people died in 10 of Turkey’s provinces following the quake, according to Erdoğan, AP reported.

  • Syrian state media said at least 1,250 people were killed and over 2,054 others injured in government-held areas.
  • The Syrian Civil Defense, first responders also known as the White Helmets, said more than 1,280 people had died in opposition-held areas and more than 2,600 others were injured — bringing the country’s death toll from the quake to at least 2,530 people, and the overall death toll to 11,030.

Of note: Gaziantep and its surrounding areas host hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have been displaced by nearly 12 years of war.

  • There were reports of tremors being particularly destructive in opposition-held areas of northwestern Syria, where millions of people displaced by the war live in densely populated towns.

Zoom out: The earthquake revealed a “crisis within multiple crises” for a population already reeling from the effects of war, humanitarian groups are warning, Axios’ Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath reports.

What they’re saying: Erdoğan tweeted that the effects were “felt in many parts of our country” and search and rescue teams had been immediately dispatched to areas affected by the earthquake.

  • U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in an emailed statement the U.S. was “profoundly concerned” by reports of the destructive quake and stood “ready to provide any and all” assistance needed.
  • “President Biden has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected,” he said.
  • Biden said in a statement Monday that senior American officials had reached out to their Turkish counterparts to coordinate U.S. assistance, and that American-supported humanitarian partners were doing the same in Syria.
  • “Today, our hearts and our deepest condolences are with all those who have lost precious loved ones, those who are injured, and those who saw their homes and businesses destroyed,” Biden added.
  • “It’s now a race against time. Every minute, every hour that passes, the chances of finding survivors alive diminishes,” World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said of the search and rescue operations in a briefing Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday to express his condolences.

  • Blinken confirmed that the “initial assistance response” from the U.S. “was already underway,” and he “pledged to do all that we can in coordination” with the Turkish government to assist the quake victims, per a readout.
    In photos: Turkey and Syria respond to destructive earthquake
    earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria
    Search and rescue operations in Osmaniye, Turkey, on Feb. 7 in response to the quake. Photo: Ozan Efeoglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    People injured in the earthquake in Hatay are taken to a ship to be transferred to Mersin, Turkey, on Feb. 7.
    People injured in the earthquake in Hatay are taken to a ship to be transferred to Mersin, Turkey, on Feb. 7. Photo: Murat Sengul/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria
    Residents join rescue teams to help in Idlib, Syria, after the quake on Feb. 6. Photo: Syrian Civil Defense/HAndout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria
    Rescue workers attend the scene of a collapsed building on Feb. 6 in Iskenderun, Turkey. Photo: Burak Kara/Getty Images
    Aftermath showing ruined residential buildings following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred in the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş on February 6.
    The scene in Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, following the quake on Feb. 6. Photo: Ahmet Akpolat/via images via Getty Images
    earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria Turkiye on February 6.
    Search and rescue operations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country’s south on Feb. 6. Photo: Aydin Arik/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
     A view of destroyed building after earthquakes jolts Turkiye's provinces, on February 6, 2023 in Diyarbakir, Turkiye.
    A destroyed building in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on Feb. 6. Photo: Omer Yasin Ergin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and SyriaFebruary 6, 2023 in Adana, Turkiye.
    The scene in Adana, Turkey, on Feb. 6. Photo: Omer Yildiz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Syrian rescuers (White Helmets) and residents gather near a collapsed building following an earthquake, in the border town of Azaz in the rebel-held north of the Aleppo province, early on February 6.
    Syrian rescuers (White Helmets) and residents gather near a collapsed building in the border town of Azaz in the rebel-held north of the Aleppo province on Feb. 6. Photo: Bakr Alkasem/AFP via Getty Images

    earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria
    earthquake number of deaths approaches 11000_Turkey and Syria
    Debris in the Turkish city of Kahramanmaraş on Feb. 6. Photo: ‘Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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