The death toll from Monday’s devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria has risen to 15,383, according to data released by authorities and rescuers.
The number of people killed in Türkiye due to the devastating earthquake has reached 12,391, the country’s Anadolu agency reported on Thursday, citing the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
In Syria, at least 1,262 were killed and 2,285 injured in government-held areas, said the Syrian Health Ministry.
Media reports also cited rescue workers as saying that at least 1,730 were killed and over 2,850 injured in the opposition-held region in Syria.
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Türkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time (0117 GMT), followed by a magnitude 6.4 quake a few minutes later in the country’s southern province of Gaziantep and a magnitude 7.6 earthquake at 1:24 p.m. local time (1024 GMT) in Kahramanmaras Province.
On Wednesday, an 82-member Chinese rescue team arrived at Adana Airport in Türkiye at 4:30 am local time (0130 GMT) after flying over 8,000 km on a chartered Air China plane.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that it was impossible to get prepared for a calamity like the earthquakes that struck the country on Monday and left more than 9,000 people dead, but he vowed to exert utmost efforts to save citizens’ lives.
“There are deficiencies … It is impossible to be prepared for such a major disaster,” Erdogan told reporters in the southern province of Hatay, which was hit hard by the earthquakes.
“We will not leave any of our citizens unattended. We will carry out disaster management by taking every necessary step so that no one will suffer,” he added.
The death toll of the earthquakes in southern Türkiye has climbed to 9,057, with 52,979 injuries, according to the Turkish president.
“This is a time for unity, solidarity. In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for purely political interests,” Erdogan said, responding to accusations that his government failed to properly handle the deadly quakes.
Erdogan said 3,356 people have so far been killed in Hatay, which registered the highest death toll among the 10 quake-hit Turkish provinces.
A total of 21,200 rescuers, including soldiers, gendarmerie and police, are now on duty in the Turkish province, he noted. A magnitude-7.7 earthquake struck Türkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time (0117 GMT) on Monday, followed by a magnitude-6.4 quake a few minutes later in the southern province of Gaziantep and a magnitude-7.6 quake at 1:24 p.m. local time (1024 GMT) in Kahramanmaras.
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