Aid focus turns to homeless in Turkey-Syria quake aftermath, more survivors found

Aid focus turns to homeless in Turkey-Syria quake aftermath, more survivors found
The death toll continues to climb from last week's devastating earthquake that hit southeast Turkey and northwest Syria despite more survivors being pulled from the rubble, as aid agencies work to help people who have lost their homes.
7 min read
17 February, 2023

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International aid agencies are stepping up efforts to help millions of homeless people, many sleeping in tents, mosques, schools or cars, 11 days after the massive 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria killing more than 43,000.

The quake killed at least 38,044 people in southern Turkey, officials said on Friday, while authorities in neighbouring Syria have reported 5,800 deaths - a figure that has changed little in days. The Syrian regime says the death toll in the territory it controls is 1,414, while the majority of deaths are in the rebel-held northwest.

Neither county has said how many people are still missing.

The United Nations on Thursday appealed for more than $1 billion in funds for the Turkish relief operation, just two days after launching a $400 million appeal for Syrians.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths, who visited Turkey last week, said the people had "experienced unspeakable heartache", adding: "We must stand with them in their darkest hour and ensure they receive the support they need."

Across the border in northwest Syria, the United Nations said more than 140 UN trucks had gone through the rebel-held border crossings since the earthquake, two of which recently opened.

6:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

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5:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

WHO seeks $84.5 million for earthquake response in Turkey, Syria

The World Health Organization appealed on Friday for $ 84.5 million to respond to health needs after the earthquake in both Turkey and Syria.

"The flash appeal outlines the health situation in the two countries following this humanitarian disaster, the main threats to health, the WHO response since the earthquakes hit and priorities for addressing the health impacts in both countries," the U.N. agency said in a statement.


3:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Man rescued from rubble 11 days after earthquake in Turkey: Anadolu news agency

A man was rescued on Friday from the rubble of a building that collapsed in the southern province of Hatay, 11 days after a massive earthquake struck the area last week, killing more than 43,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

While some international rescue teams have left the vast quake zone, survivors were still emerging from under a multitude of flattened homes, defying all the odds.

1:37 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Over 140 aid trucks have entered rebel-held Syria since quake: UN

More than 140 trucks carrying desperately-needed aid have crossed into rebel-held northwest Syria from Turkey since a giant earthquake devastated the region last week, the United Nations said Friday.

"Since February 9 up to last night, we had a total of 143 trucks going through the Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salama border crossings," Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency OCHA, told reporters in Geneva.

"The movements continue today. They continue over the weekend and will continue every day for as long as the needs are there."

UN aid trucks cross through Bab al-Hawa into northwest Syria [Getty]
1:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

FIFA allocates $1 million for humanitarian aid in Turkey, Syria

FIFA has allocated $1 million to its FIFA Foundation to provide humanitarian aid to people affected by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, soccer's world governing body said on Friday.

FIFA said it had consulted with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and the Syrian Football Association (SFA), as well as "international and local non-governmental organisations".

"The aid will be used to purchase and distribute essential humanitarian items, as well as to provide emergency and temporary shelter and protection," FIFA said in a statement.

"FIFA will continue to collaborate with the TFF and SFA, while monitoring the situation and deciding on further action."

The Premier League said last week that it will be donating one million pounds ($1.19 million), while European soccer governing body UEFA and its UEFA Foundation for Children is donating an initial 200,000 euros

Millions have been affected and made homeless by the earthquake [Getty]
11:19 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Syrian family of seven dies in fire after surviving quake

Five Syrian children and their parents died on Friday in a fire that struck a Turkish home they moved to after surviving last week's earthquake, local media reported.

The family had relocated to the central region of Konya from the southeastern Turkish city of Nurdagi, which was badly hit by the February 6 quake, to stay with relatives.

The Anadolu state news agency said the five children were aged between four and 13.

"We saw the fire but we could not intervene. A girl was rescued from the window," local resident Muhsin Cakir told Anadolu.

9:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Mother rescued

Neslihan Kilic, a 29-year-old mother of two, was removed from the rubble of a building in Kahramanmaras, after being trapped for 258 hours when a forklift operator lifted her bed and noticed her hand move, the private DHA news agency reported late Thursday.

Her father, Cuma Yalcinoz, had been waiting outside the building. "I believed she would come out," he said. "I had a feeling." Kilic’s husband and children were still missing.

8:52 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Syrian regime forces, rebels clash in quake-hit region-report

Syrian regime forces and rebels have clashed overnight in northwest Syria for the first time since an earthquake devastated the region on February 6, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Friday.

Regime and rebel forces also clashed in another part of the northwest near the regime-held town of Saraqeb, while regime forces shelled the outskirts of two villages in Hama province, the Observatory reported.

The Observatory said regime forces had shelled the outskirts of the rebel-town of Atareb. This coincided with clashes with heavy machine guns between government and rebel forces at a nearby frontline, it said.

Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said 235 people in Atareb and the nearby areas had died in the earthquake.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.


Atareb in the Aleppo governorate was badly hit in the earthquake [Getty]
8:40 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Teen, two men rescued in Turkey nearly 11 days after quake

Turkish rescuers pulled a 14-year-old boy and two men nearly 11 days after the huge earthquake, a minister said Friday, as rescue efforts wind down.

Osman, 14, was rescued 260 hours after the 7.8-magnitude tremor struck Turkey's southeast and Syria, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

He shared an image of the adolescent with his eyes open on a stretcher and said Osman had been taken to hospital in Antakya in the quake-devastated Hatay province.

Rescuers found Osman after hearing sounds in the rubble, Anadolu state news agency reported.

One hour later, rescuers elsewhere saved two men aged 26 and 33 in Antakya, Koca said, also sharing images of the men receiving treatment from health workers.

The DHA news agency named the men as Mehmet Ali Sakiroglu, 26, and Mustafa Avci, 33, and said they had been rescued from the same building's rubble.

"I'm well, there are no issues," Avci says during a call to a loved one in a video shared by Koca.

The unseen man on the other end of the line breaks down before Avci asks, "How are my mother and others?".

"They're all well, they're waiting for you," the man on the other end of the line shouts, as a small smile of relief appears on Avci's face.

Sakiroglu (seen) and two others were found over 260 hours after the quake [Getty]