Mon. May 20th, 2024

Combined death toll in Turkey and Syria rises to over 11,200

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that the death toll from Monday’s quake has reached 8,754. Combined with the 2,470 known deaths in Syria, that brings the total official death toll to 11,224.

The World Health Organization has suggested the final toll could rise as high as 20,000. A similar-sized earthquake in the region in 1999 killed at least 17,000 people.

Reuters reports that, speaking to reporters in the Kahramanmaraş province near the epicentre of the earthquake, with constant ambulance sirens in the background, Erdoğan said there had been problems with roads and airports but that everything would get better by the day.

He also said citizens should only heed communication from authorities and ignore “provocateurs,” as thousands of people complain about the lack of resources and slow response by officials. Turkish police have detained several people over their social media posts about the earthquake.

Reuters is carrying some more quotes from Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who spoke to the media while on a visit to Kahramanmaraş earlier.

“On the first day we experienced some issues but then on the second day and today the situation is under control,” he said.

The government aims to build housing within one year for those left without a home in the 10 provinces affected, he added.

“We had some problems in airports and roads but we are better today. We will be better tomorrow and later. We still have some issues with fuel…but we will overcome those too,” Erdoğan said after visiting tents set up by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

He also said citizens should only heed communication from authorities and ignore “provocateurs”.

Faisal Ali

Faisal Ali has spoken for the Guardian to a geologist based in the region affected by the quake:

It is difficult to tell how long aftershocks will last after Monday’s quake, says Kenan Akbayram, a geologist at the University of Bingöl, whose city was badly affected by the event. But by employing “aftershock forecasts” he says – a technique that relies on observations from prior earthquakes – it is possible to make rough predictions.

“In the past powerful earthquakes have caused aftershocks for two or three years,” says Akbayram, adding that the 2020 earthquake in the eastern city of Elazig, which registered at a magnitude of over 6, still has its own aftershock sequences which his team of scientists have observed.

Akbayram says that the earthquake was not unexpected. “We were expecting a rupture along the fault lines in this area,” he says, as the areas where the earthquake struck are what geologists refer to as a seismic gap.

A seismic gap is an area in an active earthquake zone that has not witnessed the expected earthquakes. This part of the eastern Anatolian fault zone was ruptured in the 1500s according to records, and more recently some parts of the fault zone moved in 1822, says Akbayram, “so there was a risk of possible movement and we were aware of it.”

Akbayram warns that there are other fault zones in Turkey which haven’t experienced seismic activity for a long time, identifying the Aegean region, areas around the Marmara sea which includes the major cities of Bursa and Istanbul, and the city of Bingöl where he is based. “We in the scientific community are aware of these seismic gaps, but I cannot say that we are ready from an engineering perspective.”

Combined death toll in Turkey and Syria rises to over 11,200

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that the death toll from Monday’s quake has reached 8,754. Combined with the 2,470 known deaths in Syria, that brings the total official death toll to 11,224.

The World Health Organization has suggested the final toll could rise as high as 20,000. A similar-sized earthquake in the region in 1999 killed at least 17,000 people.

Reuters reports that, speaking to reporters in the Kahramanmaraş province near the epicentre of the earthquake, with constant ambulance sirens in the background, Erdoğan said there had been problems with roads and airports but that everything would get better by the day.

He also said citizens should only heed communication from authorities and ignore “provocateurs,” as thousands of people complain about the lack of resources and slow response by officials. Turkish police have detained several people over their social media posts about the earthquake.

Syria requests aid through EU civil protection mechanism

Syria has activated the EU civil protection mechanism two days after the earthquake, the European Commission’s head of crisis management Janez Lenarcic said on Wednesday.

“Earlier today, this morning, we have received a request from the government of Syria for assistance through the civil protection mechanism,” Reuters reports Lenarcic told the media.

Lenarcic said member states are encouraged to contribute with assistance as requested.

In October 2001, the European Commission established the EU civil protection mechanism. When an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country in Europe and beyond, it can request assistance from the programme.

In addition to the 27 EU member states, there are currently eight other participating states (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey). The European Commission’s website say that since its inception, the mechanism has responded to over 600 requests for assistance inside and outside the EU.

A container blaze at Turkey’s southern port of Iskenderun has been brought under control, Turkey’s maritime authority said on Wednesday, following combined extinguishing efforts from land, sea and air.

Operations at the port were shut down until further notice after a fire broke out due to the earthquakes that hit the region on Monday, and freighters were diverted to other ports.

A source from the port told Reuters the flames had not spread to the area where flammable materials were stored, and that the nature of the fire, which has unleashed a huge cloud of black smoke over the city, was still unclear.

“We are suspecting it is plastic raw material or chemical but we could not clearly determine it as the containers collapsed and scattered,” the source said.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/feb/08/turkey-syria-earthquake-death-toll-homeless-disaster-latest-updates

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

Leave a Reply