Turkiye-Syria earthquake death toll crosses 7,800 as ‘search and rescue’ operations continue

quake-hit Turkiye
Image: Reuters.com

The death toll of a devastating earthquake in southern Turkiye and Syria jumped to more than 7,800 people on Tuesday as rescuers worked against time in harsh winter conditions to dig survivors out of the rubble of collapsed buildings.

As the scale of the disaster became ever more apparent, the death toll looked likely to rise considerably.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared 10 Turkish provinces a disaster zone and imposed a state of emergency for three months that will permit the government to bypass parliament in enacting new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms.

Monday’s magnitude 7.8 quake, followed hours later by a second one almost as powerful, toppled thousands of buildings, including hospitals, schools, and apartment blocks, injured tens of thousands, and left countless people homeless in Turkey and northern Syria.

The death toll in Turkiye rose to 5,894, Vice President Fuat Oktay said. More than 34,000 were injured. In Syria, the toll was at least 1,932, according to the government and rescue service in the insurgent-held northwest.

Aid officials voiced particular concern about the situation in Syria, already afflicted by a humanitarian crisis after nearly 12 years of civil war.

Pakistan sends humanitarian assistance to earthquake-hit Turkiye

On the direction of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Tuesday dispatched humanitarian assistance to earthquake-hit Turkiye as the death toll has neared 3,000 in Turkiye alone.

Pakistan sends humanitarian assistance to earthquake-hit Turkiye

Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. General Inam Haider Malik sent off the emergency relief consignment from the Nur Khan Air Base through PAF C-130 aircraft, including winterized tents and blankets along with a search and rescue team of Pakistan Army.

PM Shehbaz sets up relief fund for Turkish earthquake victims

Islamabad: In solidarity with the people of Turkiye, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish a Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to support the victims of the earthquake that has killed more than 4,300 people so far in Turkiye and Syria combined.

In a statement on Twitter, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the federal cabinet had also announced to donate one month’s salary to the relief fund.

PM Shehbaz sets up relief fund for Turkish earthquake victims

With additional input from Reuters.