Facts about Türkiye, Syria quake: Death toll tops 23,000, int'l teams continue rescue efforts

2023-02-11 10:20:05 GMT2023-02-11 18:20:05(Beijing Time) Sina English

The following are the latest facts about quake-hit Turkey and Syria.

Combined casualties

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced late Friday that the country's death toll from Monday's earthquakes has climbed to 20,213, bringing the total fatalities with neighboring Syria to over 23,000, with tens of thousands injured.

Rescue efforts

On Friday, following a three-hour effort, a woman, the fourth survivor saved by Chinese rescuers, was pulled out to safety from the rubble of collapsed buildings over 96 hours after the earthquake.

Some 130 international urban search-and-rescue teams are working in the earthquake-impacted area of Turkey. Another 57 international search-and-rescue teams are on their way, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The UN World Food Programme has delivered urgently needed food aid to 115,000 people in Turkey and Syria in the first four days since the earthquake struck, he said.

An 82-member Chinese rescue team arrived at Turkey's Adana Sakirpasa Airport on Wednesday morning, carrying over 20 tons of equipment for rescue, communication and medical purposes, and four rescue dogs.

Problems and response

The UN Refugee Agency had a preliminary estimate that as many as 5.3 million people in Syria may have been left homeless by the earthquake.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Mirjana Spoljaric said on Friday Syrians' resilience to cope with the aftermath of the massive earthquakes is "diminished drastically" after more than 10 years of crisis in Syria.

The US latest move to ease the sanctions imposed on Syria to support earthquake relief efforts is "misleading and aims to give a false humanitarian impression," the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department issued a so-called six-month sanctions exemption for Syria-bound humanitarian aid, saying the US sanctions in Syria "will not stand in the way" of life-saving efforts.