Little chance of finding survivors in Turkey and Syria

Little chance of finding survivors in Turkey and Syria

Syrians enter their country from Turkey’s Cilvegozu crossing point in Reyhanli, southeastern Turkey, on Saturday, February 18, 2023, nearly two weeks after the deadly earthquake. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

ISTANBUL (AP) — As search and rescue efforts for survivors of the Feb. 6 earthquake began to falter in Turkey, demolition crews began clearing mounds of rubble left behind by Turkey’s worst disaster. the modern history of the country.

Here’s a look at Sunday’s key events:


The number of confirmed deaths from the quake has risen to 40,689, the head of the national disaster management agency (AFAD), Yunus Sezer, said. This was 47 more than the figure given on Saturday evening and a much smaller increase than previous updates.

Sezer told reporters in Ankara that search and rescue work in nine of the 11 earthquake-hit provinces had been completed. Operations continue in Kahramanmaras, the site of the epicenter, and in Hatay, one of the hardest hit provinces. “We continue these efforts every day in hopes of reaching a living sibling,” he added.

Although rescue operations continue in both provinces, there are no signs that anyone has been pulled out alive since three members of a family – a mother, father and a 12-year-old boy – were extracted from a collapsed building in Hatai on Saturday. The child later died.

The new figure brings the combined death toll in Turkey and Syria to 44,377. The UN said it would take time to determine the full death toll in Syria.


Turkey’s disaster management agency reported that some 6,040 aftershocks hit the 11 provinces that make up the government-declared disaster area in the days following the initial quake.

The first earthquake had a magnitude of 7.8, and nine hours later there was another of 7.5.

Orhan Tatar, director general of AFAD, said 40 aftershocks were 5-6 magnitude and one 6.6.

“It is extremely important to stay away from damaged buildings and not enter them,” he told a televised news conference in Ankara.

He also warned of “secondary disasters” such as landslides and rockfalls.


Some 105,794 properties reviewed by the Department of Environment and Town Planning have either been destroyed or damaged so badly that they need to be demolished.

Among them, 20,662 collapsed, according to a statement from the ministry. The damaged or destroyed buildings contained over 384,500 units, mostly residential apartments.

Figures do not include fallen or damaged structures in Syria.

Melissa Galbraith
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