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Turkey-Syria border quakes claim over 2,300 die, world offers assistance

stanbul/Damascus. A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the border region of the two countries early on Monday, leaving more than 2,300 people dead—more than 1,500 in Turkey and at least 810 in Syria—thousands more injured, and significant damage was caused in both countries, including fires in fuel pipelines and oil refineries. […]

Edited By : News24 Desk | Updated: Feb 8, 2023 12:26 IST
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Turkey Quake
Turkey Quake

stanbul/Damascus. A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the border region of the two countries early on Monday, leaving more than 2,300 people dead—more than 1,500 in Turkey and at least 810 in Syria—thousands more injured, and significant damage was caused in both countries, including fires in fuel pipelines and oil refineries.

According to Vice President Fuat Oktay, 1,541 people have died and over 9,700 have been injured in Turkey as a result of the two earthquakes. According to him, both earthquakes were followed by up to 145 aftershocks, three of which had magnitudes greater than 6.

Early on Monday (local time), a 7.8-magnitude earthquake occurred in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. Tremors were reportedly felt throughout the Middle East, from Cairo to Beirut to Baghdad. Even Italy issued a tsunami warning as a result of it.

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According to officials, the fresh 7.5-magnitude earthquake, which struck at roughly 1:30 p.m. local time, was not an aftershock.

Horrific images from the impacted areas showed severe devastation of public and private property, including some historic cultural sites, as well as traumatised individuals. People who managed to make it out into the open were spotted wailing for family members who were still buried beneath the rubble of destroyed buildings as others attempted to comfort and reassure them.

Inur Cevik, a counsellor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, described the accident as “widespread and devastating” and said that there was no lack of resources available to search for survivors, but rather that it was a race against time.

In addition to northern Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, and Tartus in Syria, the wave of devastation also struck 10 Turkish provinces, including Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis, according to RT.

The earthquake damaged vital infrastructure in both nations. According to footage making the rounds online, natural gas pipelines in Turkey’s Kilis Province exploded, causing the fuel to erupt into enormous plumes of flame. The operator BOTAS claimed to have stopped the flow, but compressed gas in the pipeline kept the fires going.

According to the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources, one of Syria’s biggest refineries in the city of Baniyas had to be shut down for at least 48 hours because of fractures in the chimney of its power unit. As a precaution, train services were also suspended.

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Whole world came together to help

The UN observed a moment of quiet as a gesture, international leaders have promised to send aid to aid in the rescue attempts in Turkey and Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad of Turkey and Syria, respectively, received condolence messages from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also expressed his government’s readiness to assist. According to RT, Russian rescue crews have been dispatched to both nations to help at the disaster sites.

US President Joe Biden

In a tweet, US President Joe Biden stated: “The death toll and destruction brought on by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey break my heart. In accordance with Turkiye, I’ve instructed my team to keep a close eye on the issue and offer any necessary support.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

In a statement, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “This morning, my thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria, especially those first responders who are giving their all to save those who are stranded by the earthquake. The UK is prepared to assist in any manner that we can.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

While German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country mourned with the families of those slain and “would of course provide help,” French President Emmanuel Macron called the images emerging from both nations “awful” and declared that his nation “stands ready to deliver emergency aid.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India declared on Monday that it was prepared to assist Turkey in its hour of need. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed astonishment and sorrow over the enormous earthquake, saying that India’s “140 crore people are with the victims of the earthquake in Turkey.”

President Erdogan tweeted something, to which Modi replied, “distressed by the deaths and property damage caused by the earthquake in Turkey. Condolences to the families of the deceased. May those who were hurt quickly heal. India supports the Turkish people and is prepared to help them in whatever way it can as they deal with this tragedy.”

The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, P.K. Mishra, attended a meeting to discuss immediate relief efforts in light of Prime Minister Modi’s directives to provide all possible support to deal with the earthquake in Turkey, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

According to the report, two NDRF teams totaling 100 people are prepared to be sent to Turkey for search and rescue operations. These teams will include particularly trained dog squads.

Additionally, medical teams are being prepared with qualified physicians and paramedics as well as necessary medications. In conjunction with the Turkish government, aid will be delivered.

Israel has stated that it will send teams for medical assistance and search and rescue to both Turkey and Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked, “This is what we do around the world and this is what we do in areas near to us,” according to the BBC.

Other nations have also pledged assistance, including Azerbaijan, Greece, Serbia, and Spain.

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First published on: Feb 07, 2023 12:39 AM IST

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