Erdogan confirms more than 900 deaths in Turkey, while some 400 people have died in Syria
The death toll from the 7.4 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale registered this Monday in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria, has risen to more than 1,300, according to data provided by the authorities of both countries and the ‘white helmets’, although it is feared that the number could increase in the next few hours because thousands of people have been injured and many are still trapped in the rubble.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated in statements to the press that at least 912 people have died and 5,385 have been injured as a result of the quake, which he has described as “the biggest disaster since the 1939 earthquake”, which left more than of 30,000 dead.
“Our State has adopted measures with all the institutions since the earthquake took place and our provinces have mobilized all their capacities,” he said, before noting that more than 9,000 workers work in search and rescue operations.
The governor of the province of Kahramanmaras, Omer Faruk Coskun, stressed that “it is not possible to give an exact number of deaths and injuries at this time” and added that “the damage is serious.” The earthquake had its epicenter in the Pazarcik district, located in this province.
Along these lines, the mayor of Kahramanmaras, Hayrettin Gungor, has acknowledged that the situation is a “disaster” and has added that the authorities “are on the ground with all their capabilities.” “Our request to the citizens is not to crowd and not disturb the traffic. We need to help the (search and rescue) teams,” he argued.
For his part, the Minister of the Interior, Suleyman Soylu, has indicated in a press conference that the Turkish Government has declared the highest level of alarm, which includes the request for international aid, and has sent numerous search and rescue teams to earthquake zones.
The earthquake has also left about 240 dead in the areas of Syria controlled by the authorities, according to data from the Syrian Ministry of Health, which has pointed out that about 640 people have been injured. Most of the victims reside in the provinces of Latakia, Aleppo, Hama and Tartus.
Given the situation, the Syrian Ministry of Defense has announced the mobilization of all its units and institutions to help the victims, according to a statement collected by the Syrian state news agency, SANA. The country’s president, Bashar al Assad, has also led an emergency government meeting to analyze the situation.
To these figures we must add about 150 deaths and more than 340 wounded in the areas controlled by the rebels in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, in the northwest of the Arab country, as indicated by the Syrian Civil Defense, known as ‘helmets blancos’, through his Twitter account, where he lamented “the catastrophe and devastation” caused by the earthquake.
“The earthquake in northwest Syria has killed 147 and injured more than 340. The toll could rise as many families are still trapped. Our teams are on the ground searching for survivors and removing the dead from the rubble.” , has pointed out. “Houses, buildings and residential areas completely destroyed. Urgent support is needed for response efforts,” he said.