The chances of survival decrease, hardly any survivors are recovered. Two weeks after the earthquake, Turkey ended rescue operations in nine out of eleven regions. In Syria, aid continues to arrive only slowly.
Almost two weeks after the devastating earthquake in Syria and Turkey, many rescue operations are coming to an end. The search work in nine of the eleven affected provinces in Turkey has ended, said the Turkish civil protection Afad.
Search and rescue teams in Turkey had apparently not found any survivors in the previous 24 hours. The search for survivors is only continuing in around 40 buildings in the provinces of Kahramanmaras and Hatay, said Afad boss Yunus Sezer. The two provinces are near the epicenter of the earthquake.
More than 46,000 people died
Thousands of people are still missing in Turkey and Syria. The chances of survival for people buried under the sea are getting smaller after a long time, also because of the low temperatures.
On Saturday, however, a rescue team in Antakya managed to rescue two more people alive. A third person, their 12-year-old child, died after being rescued. The parents were taken to a hospital.
In total, more than 46,000 people died in the earthquake. The Turkish civil protection reported 40,689 deaths today – 47 more than yesterday. About 5,900 deaths were counted in Syria, but the numbers are updated less frequently.
The extremely high number of victims can be explained by the fact that construction standards were not observed in Turkey, experts say. According to the Turkish Vice President, at least 105,000 buildings have been completely or partially destroyed.
Shine in Hatay
Around 1.2 million people are said to have left the affected region in Turkey. More than a million people affected are temporarily housed in shelters, said the head of civil protection Sezer.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today visited Turkey’s hard-hit province of Hatay. Together with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, he first flew over the disaster area to get an idea of how US aid deliveries are being coordinated.
So far, the US had provided $85 million in emergency aid. Blinken announced that this would be increased by $100 million. Blinken plans to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday.
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced that she would increase aid for the Syrian earthquake victims by 22.2 million euros, bringing German earthquake aid for Syria to a total of 50 million euros. After ten years of war and the earthquake, the people there lack the bare essentials to survive, the Greens politician told the “Bild am Sonntag”. The money goes to organizations that are already active in the region, such as Welthungerhilfe, Malteser, Caritas and Save the Children.
Little emergency aid in Syria
Even before the earthquake, more than 15 million people in Syria needed some form of help, according to the UN. Almost two weeks after the quake, not everyone has received emergency aid. “We’re still at the beginning and haven’t seen the worst yet,” said Muhannad Hadi, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator for Syria.
In Syria, more than 9,000 houses were apparently completely or partially destroyed. According to the UN, around 40,000 households are currently homeless – but only around 13,000 earthquake victims were provided with tents.
So far, more than 140 trucks with UN relief supplies have driven from Turkey to north-western Syria. About 60,000 people were supplied with water.
In a joint statement, more than 50 filmmakers called on the governments of Turkey and Syria to improve the situation in the regions affected by the earthquake. The signatories, including prominent names such as director Fatih Akin and actor Kida Khodr Ramadan, demanded, among other things, that all border crossings in the region be unconditionally opened in the declaration published on the sidelines of the Berlinale. In addition, access to the earthquake areas must be made easier for aid organizations and volunteers. Humanitarian aid should not be blocked for political reasons.