Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Turkey-Syria Earthquake: Rescue Work Moves Slowly as Death Toll Nears 5,000

As the death toll from a terrible earthquake in Turkey and Syria surpassed 5,000 on Tuesday, overwhelmed rescuers fought to help individuals trapped under the wreckage, with despair growing and the scope of the disaster impeding relief efforts.  

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and neighboring Syria early on Monday, toppling entire apartment blocks, wrecking hospitals, and leaving thousands more injured or homeless.

In the Turkish city of Antakya, near the Syrian border, where 10-story buildings had crumbled onto the streets, Reuters journalists saw rescue work being conducted on one out of dozens of mounds of rubble.  

The temperature was close to freezing as the rain came down, and there was no electricity or fuel in the city. In Turkey, the death toll climbed to 3,381 people, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said.  

The Syrian government and a rescue organisation in the northwest that is controlled by insurgents estimate that more than 1,500 people have died in Syria, a country that has already been decimated by more than 11 years of conflict.

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