More rescued in Syria, Turkey as earthquake death toll nears 23,000

More rescued in Syria, Turkey as earthquake death toll nears 23,000
Rescue workers are still searching for missing people amid Turkish and Syrian rubble, where the death toll is nearing 23,000.
8 min read
10 February, 2023
A number of people have been rescued despite the 72-hour rescue window in Turkey and Syria [Getty]

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Rescuers pulled more people alive - including children on Friday from the rubble of the Turkey-Syria earthquake as the toll surpassed 23,000 amid freezing temperatures.

The United Nations warned that 874,000 people were now in urgent need of hot meals across, while calls for more aid to be delivered to Syria are being made.

The death toll is expected to increase, while President Erdogan acknowledged his government's shortcomings in response to the earthquake.

7:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

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4:36 PM
The New Arab

United Nations Security Council 'not needed' for cross border aid in Syria

Rights groups, jurists and charities are saying that the approval of the United Nations Security Council is not needed for cross-border aid to enter Syria, as pressure mounts on the UN governing body on delivering aid to the earthquake-hit country, The Guardian said.

In a letter written weeks before the tragedy, 16 international jurists made demands for more border opening, facilitating the deliver of aid into the war-torn country.

"Overly cautious interpretations of international law should not risk the lives of millions who continue to rely on cross-border aid in the north and north-west, nor should they be allowed to change and politicise the landscape of international humanitarian law".

Aid delivery in Syria is faced with numerous obstacles [Getty]
3:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Syrian regime approves of aid delivery in Syria, including rebel-held areas

The Syrian regime said on Friday it had "approved" the delivery of humanitarian aid to areas outside its control in the quake-hit rebel-held northwest of the country.

"The Council of Ministers approves the delivery of humanitarian aid to all parts of the Syrian Arab Republic," a cabinet statement said.

It added that aid distribution should be supervised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent with UN help.

Monday's massive quake killed more than 22,700 people in Turkey and Syria, in one of the region's worst disasters in a century.

The United Nations routinely delivers aid to rebel-held areas, either from neighbouring Turkey through the Bab al-Hawa crossing or directly across the front line from government-held areas.

Some four million people in the rebel-held northwest rely on humanitarian aid but there have been no aid deliveries from government-controlled areas in three weeks.


Aid can be seen entering the rebel-held Bab Al-Salama crossing, in northwest Syria [Getty]
3:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN calls for 'immediate ceasefire' in Syria to facilitate aid

The United Nations rights chief is urging for an immediate ceasefire in Syria to help facilitate bringing aid to all victims of the region's devastating earthquake, that has killed at least 22,000 people so far.

"At this terrible time in Turkey and Syria, we call for urgent delivery of assistance to ALL in need," the UN rights office said in a tweet.

"UN human rights chief Volker Turk calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria, and full respect for human rights and humanitarian law obligations so help can reach everyone," it added.

The call came as rescue workers continued their search for survivors in the rubble of the 7.8 magnitude quake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, with the death toll expected to increase.

At least 3,377 people have died in Syria, where more than a decade of civil war and Syrian-Russian aerial bombardment had already destroyed hospitals, collapsed the economy, causing electricity, fuel and water shortages.

Syrians are some of the worst-effected earthquake victims, due to border closures [Getty]
1:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More aid arrives in Syria's northwest, officials say

A United Nations aid convoy crossed into war-torn Syria's rebel-held northwest from Turkey on Friday, the second such delivery after a devastating earthquake hit the two countries, a border official told AFP.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake early on Monday has killed some 22,000 people in Turkey and Syria, according to officials and medics, as the death toll increases.

"A second aid convoy, coming from the United Nations, entered a short time ago," said Mazen Alloush, media officer at the Bab al-Hawa crossing.

The convoy consisted of 14 trucks containing non-food items such as "humanitarian kits, solar lamps, blankets and other assistance", International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesman Paul Dillon told reporters in Geneva.

The aid "will be sufficient for about 1,100 families in the quake-hit areas in Idlib" province in the country's northwest, he added.

Aid has been steadily arriving in Syria following the devastating earthquake on Monday [Getty]

The aid delivery mechanism from Turkey into rebel-held areas of Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing is the only way UN assistance can reach civilians without passing through areas controlled by Syrian government forces.

While the crossing itself was not affected by the quake, the road leading to it was damaged, temporarily disrupting operations, a UN spokesman said earlier this week.

The White Helmets rescue group that operates in rebel-held areas had expressed disappointment Thursday at the first batch of aid, saying it was part of "routine" deliveries.

"This is certainly not special aid and equipment for search and rescue teams," the group said on Twitter.

Syrians are in need of assistance, as aid flows through the quake-hit country [Getty]
1:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey postpones gas hub summit to March 22 after earthquake

Turkey has postponed a natural gas summit due to be held on February 14-15 until March 22, an energy official said on Friday, after a major earthquake hit its southeastern region, Reuters has said.

Setting up a gas hub in Turkey was first proposed by Russia's President Vladimir Putin after explosions damaged Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.

Turkey, currently imports all its gas needs and has extensive LNG import infrastructure. Ankara believes it can leverage its existing and new trade relations to become a gas hub.

Turkey also plans to start offshore gas production this year and ramp-up output over the next few years.

Separately, the Kremlin said on Thursday that the implementation of the Turkish hub had been delayed.

Turkey said it will postpone its energy summit, due to be held in March [Getty]
11:59 AM
The New Arab Staff

Syrian man and daughter who held for three days pulled from rubble

Eye-opening survival stories continue as a man in Syria was successfully pulled from under rubble alongside his daughter, who were trapped for at least three days.

The man, according videos online, reportedly held his daughter for the period they were trapped.

Rescue efforts in both Turkey and Syria are still underway, however, the death toll is climbing to 22,000 in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake on Monday.

Rescue workers are still searching for survivors amid the rubble in Syria [Getty]
10:44 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Regime leader Bashar Al-Assad visits Aleppo hospital following devastating earthquake


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the Aleppo University Hospital, the presidency said on Friday as per Reuters, his first reported trip to an earthquake-hit area.

Images were shared by the regime of Assad and his wife Asma visiting people who were injured in the devastating earthquake which has killed thousands.

Aid is critical for Syria, where it can only be passed through the Bab al-Hawa crossing amid sanctions against Assad which have crippled the country.


The United States, for example, has said that it will not send aid directly to the Assad regime, instead, it would provide aid through existing humanitarian partners on the ground in Syria.

While Syria's envoy to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh, has seemingly ruled out reopening border crossings that would allow aid to reach areas controlled by rebel groups, insisting that the regime should be solely responsible for delivering aid, including areas that are not governed by the Syrian government.


An image of Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian regime leader, in Aleppo [Getty]
10:25 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Six people pulled alive in Turkey from rubble after more than 101 


Six people, including a mother and her 10-year-old son were miraculously pulled alive by rescue teams from under rubble in Hatay province after being trapped for more than 101 hours.

Others also rescued include a 30-year-old man and 3,5-year-old Zeynep Parlak, as per the Turkish Anadolu agency.


Some of the rescued in Hatay province include 3,5-year-old Zeynep Parlak [Getty]
8:51 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey's lax policing of building codes flagged before quake

Turkey has for years tempted fate by not enforcing modern construction codes while allowing — and in some cases, encouraging — a real estate boom in earthquake-prone areas, experts say.

The lax enforcement, which experts in geology and engineering have long warned about, is gaining renewed scrutiny in the aftermath of this week's devastating earthquakes, which flattened thousands of buildings and killed more than 21,000 people across Turkey and Syria.

It is common knowledge that many buildings in the areas pummeled by this week’s two massive earthquakes were built with inferior materials and methods, and often did not comply with government standards, said Eyup Muhcu, president of the Chamber of Architects of Turkey.

8:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

World Bank to provide Turkey $1.78 billion in earthquake relief financing

The World Bank said on Thursday it is providing Turkey with $1.78 billion in relief and recovery financing assistance as the country struggles with the aftermath of an earthquake that has killed nearly 22,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

The World Bank said in a statement that $780 million will become available for Ankara immediately, as the funds will be diverted from two existing World Bank loan projects in Turkey. Another $1 billion in assistance for Turkey's recovery and reconstruction is also being prepared but will take more time to arrange, a World Bank spokesperson said.

8:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Kurdish militants suspend 'operations' after Turkey quake

Outlawed Kurdish militants are temporarily suspending "operations" in Turkey after the massive quake in the country and Syria, a PKK leader said.

"Stop operations in Turkey, in the cities. We have decided to not conduct any operation as long as the Turkish state does not attack," leader Cemil Bayik was quoted as saying late Thursday by ANF, a news agency close to Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"The quake caused a massive disaster. Thousands of our people are under the rubble. Everyone must mobilise using all their means," he added.

The PKK has been waging a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel.

The PKK has been waging a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state [Getty]