― Advertisement ―

HomeNewsEarthquake in Turkey and Syria: 20,000 Feared Dead, Trapped in Icy Conditions

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: 20,000 Feared Dead, Trapped in Icy Conditions

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: 20,000 Feared Dead, Trapped in Icy Conditions

Around 1,000 rescuers from around the world, including 74 Britons, will work alongside local teams to pull victims from the rubble. Atiqur Rahman, a UK relief worker, is assisting in the search for survivors.

International search and rescue teams were racing to Turkey and Syria last night to assist in the search for earthquake survivors, amid fears that the death toll could exceed 20,000.

According to officials, over 4,000 people have died so far, with hundreds more buried beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in freezing temperatures and with the risk of aftershocks.

Around 1,000 rescuers from around the world, including 74 Britons, will work alongside local teams to pull victims from the rubble.

Atiqur Rahman, a UK relief worker who was in Turkey working, is assisting in the search for survivors in Antakya.

ALSO READ: Turkey Earthquake death toll could reach 10,000

The 37-year-old owner of Yahya’s Indian Grill in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, escaped unharmed, but a colleague’s son is missing.

“The only way I can describe it is Armageddon,” he said. People are trapped, screaming, and children have died. There are bodies in the streets. There is no power or gas. On street corners, people are starting fires.

“It’s bitterly cold. They sleep in bus shelters, under trees, or anywhere else away from buildings. One in every three buildings has been completely demolished.”

“We are trying to do what we can,” said Atiqur, who works for the charity Global Relief Trust. I’ve been to bombed-out cities before, but nothing compares to this. This is complete devastation.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said it was “too early” to say whether other British citizens were killed or injured. The earthquake was described as “truly apocalyptic” by Lib Dem Lord Bruce of Bennachie.

“Because debris removal efforts are ongoing in many buildings, we do not know how high the number of dead and injured will rise,” Turkish President Recep Erdogan said.

Turkey reported 2,379 deaths and 13,293 injuries, while at least 1,444 people were killed in Syria on Monday evening, bringing the total number of deaths in both countries to 3,823.

According to Orhan Tatar, a disaster management official in Turkey, more than 7,800 people were rescued across ten provinces.

Experts have warned that the death toll could reach 20,000. According to Catherine Smallwood of the World Health Organization, “eightfold increases in the initial numbers” in similar earthquakes were common due to building collapses.

ALSO READ: Massive 7.8 Quake Kills Over 500 in Turkey and Syria

As rescuers in the Turkish city of Adana attempted to reach one victim buried beneath the rubble, he was heard saying, “I don’t have the strength any longer.”

It is unknown whether he survived.

Harsh low temperatures and rain storms have also added to the problems in the aftermath of the quake, with one survivor in northern Syria likening conditions to an “apocalypse”.

Concerns have also grown about the potential impact of Storm Barbara, which is expected to bring significant snow and rain to large parts of Turkey over the next two days.

Huseyin Yayman, a legislator from Turkey’s Hatay province, described the situation on the ground yesterday evening, saying, “Many are trapped.

“Many buildings have been damaged. There are people on the streets. It’s winter, it’s raining.”

The quake struck at 4.30 a.m. yesterday, destroying buildings from war-torn Aleppo and Hama in Syria to Diyarbakir in Turkey, more than 200 miles northeast. Neighborhoods were wiped out in a matter of seconds.

The initial 7.8 magnitude horror was followed by 7.7 magnitude aftershocks.

It ripped through the Middle East, jolting residents in Beirut, Cairo, and Damascus awake. It was felt in Greenland.

Many victims in Syria lived in homes and towns that had already been destroyed by 11 years of civil war.

The earthquake zone has displaced four million people from other parts of the country.

The threat of terrorism has hampered rescue operations in some areas. Several children’s bodies were brought to a hospital in rebel-held Azmarin.

“I thought I was going to die,” Aleppo’s Syrian American Medical Society site manager Dr. Osama Sallom said of the quake.

ALSO READ: Partner’s Heartbreaking Statement on Nicola Bulley’s Disappearance

“The most difficult thing is remembering what has happened over the last 11 years; some colleagues have previously lost relatives and are now suffering from the loss of their families again.”

“At dawn, the ground was shaking violently,” said Jasmine Khaled Kanjo, 35, an Aleppo teacher. It’s still raining and extremely cold.”

READ MORE:

MOST READ