Two weeks after the double earthquake of February 6, Ankara decided to stop the search, except in the two most affected provinces of the country: those of Hatay and Kahramanmaras. Visiting Turkey the same day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States would provide $100 million in additional aid.
Fourteen days after the earthquakes of February 6 , Turkey decided on Sunday February 19 to stop the search except in the two most affected provinces, Kahramanmaras and Hatay, announced the government relief agency (Afad).
“In many provinces the search efforts are over. They are continuing in the provinces of Kahramanmaras and Hatay, in about forty buildings,” said Yunus Sezer, the head of Afad.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated the south of the country and Syria killed nearly 45,000 people, including 40,689 dead in Turkey, according to the latest official report released by Afad on Sunday.
No new survivors have been cleared from the ruins for more than 24 hours after the rescue of a couple in Antakya, capital of Hatay province, on Saturday, 296 hours after the quake.
In the past three days, seven people have been pulled alive from the rubble, all in Antakya, including the couple’s child who died shortly after being rescued.
In the province of Kahramanmaras, where the epicenter was located, the chances of survival appeared to be slimmer than in Hatay due to the cold which reached -15°C at night in snowy areas such as Elbistan, noted AFP teams.
More than 6,000 replicas
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay reported on Saturday that 105,000 buildings have collapsed or been severely damaged and will be demolished.
More than 6,000 aftershocks have been recorded since the disaster, including one with a magnitude of 6.6 and forty with an intensity of 5 to 6, according to the relief organization.
In a message broadcast via Twitter, Afad asks the victims not to try to enter the damaged buildings to recover goods, “even briefly”. She also announces that “requests for housing assistance” are now open for those who have lost their roof.
However, the number of people left homeless as a result of the disaster has not been announced.
More than 11,000 rescuers from abroad
On Tuesday, the head of state, Recep Tayyip Erdogan , announced that 2.2 million people had evacuated the affected provinces on their own.
Afad recalled that more than 265,000 Turkish relief personnel had been deployed in the affected areas, including its teams, those of the army and the gendarmerie, volunteers and NGOs.
In addition, nearly 11,500 rescue workers from overseas have joined the search and rescue efforts, according to the Foreign Ministry.
One hundred million dollars in American aid
Also on Sunday, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken went to Turkey to follow the humanitarian effort and announce one hundred million dollars in additional aid.