More than 28,000 people have perished as a result of the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, and UN relief chief Martin Griffiths expects that figure to “double or more” from where it is currently (of around 28K).
According to officials and medical experts, there were 24,617 fatalities in Turkey and 3,574 in Syria. The final figure of 28,191 has been established.
Martin Griffiths landed in Kahramanmaras, a city in southern Turkey, on Saturday, the epicentre of the first 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which shattered millions of people’s lives early on Monday.
“I think it’s difficult to calculate precisely because we need to crawl under the rubble, but I’m confident it’ll double or more,” he told Sky News on Saturday.
According to Turkey’s disaster agency AFAD, more than 32,000 volunteers from Turkish organisations are helping with search and rescue efforts. There are also 8,294 foreign rescuers. Since the 7.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked Kahramanmaraş on February 6, there have been 2,103 tremors and aftershocks, according to the agency. In response to the need for shelter, 175,960 tents and 1,507,494 blankets have been distributed to earthquake-affected areas.
According to the UN, up to 5.3 million Syrians may now be homeless as a result of the earthquakes, and roughly 900,000 people in Turkey and Syria urgently require access to hot food.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Saturday that the earthquake has affected about 26 million people and made a quick appeal for $42.8 million to meet urgent medical needs.
According to Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, the role of 131 suspects in earthquake-related building collapses has been identified. One suspect has been apprehended, while 113 others have been issued detain warrants.