Over 11,000 people are confirmed dead as of Wednesday as massive earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria, destroying countless homes and other buildings. Sky News reported that Turkey’s disaster management agency estimated over 8,500 casualties in that country alone as of Feb. 8, while the Syrian Health Ministry estimated over 2,600 dead and tens of thousands more are injured in both countries.
Sky News said on Feb. 8 that the earthquake is the “deadliest since a 2011 earthquake in Japan triggered a tsunami, killing nearly 20,000 people.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is supposed to visit the “worst-hit” Turkish province of Hatay and the earthquake epicenter Pazarcik on Wednesday. Due to the ongoing Syrian war and the rebel-held border region, relief efforts there are sadly being hampered.
The Independent reported on Feb. 7 that as many as 20,000 could be killed in the earthquake and that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 23 million people in Syria and Turkey could be affected directly, including 1.4 million children. The Independent emphasized how bad the weather is for standing outside, which many are doing.
An unknown number of people have been trapped in the rubble of buildings, desperately calling out or sending phone messages for help. In Antakya, Turkey, near the Syrian border, a woman cried for help from under a rubble heap as a local resident stood in the rain, weeping and wringing his hands. “They’re making noises but nobody is coming,” the local man said. “We’re devastated, we’re devastated. My God… They’re calling out. They’re saying, ‘Save us’ but we can’t save them. How are we going to save them? There has been nobody since the morning.”
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