Earthquake of magnitude 4.7 hits Turkey, Death toll over 34,000

13 February, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

turkey earthquake World

An earthquake of magnitude 4.7 rocked Turkey's southern city of Kahramanmaras on Sunday (local time), the location of the initial 7.8-magnitude tremor that upended millions of lives last Monday.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), an earthquake of magnitude 4.7 rocked Turkey’s southern city of Kahramanmaras on Sunday (local time), the location of the initial 7.8-magnitude tremor that upended millions of lives last Monday.

The death toll from the earthquakes in Turkey and northwestern Syria has gone past 34,000 as rescue efforts continue, reported CNN.

It reached at least 34,179 on Sunday (local time). The death toll in Turkey has reached 29,605, said the Turkish Emergency Coordination Center SAKOM. The confirmed death toll in Syria is 4,574. That number includes more than 3,160 in opposition-held parts of northwestern Syria, according to the health ministry of the Salvation Government governance authority.

According to the state news agency SANA, the Syrian death toll also includes 1,414 dead in government-controlled areas of Syria.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it is awaiting final authorisation to deploy cross-border supplies into northwest Syria, where rebel groups control area and aid delivery have been hampered, according to CNN.

According to the WHO, its Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expects to be able to fly into the rebel-held areas affected by the deadly earthquake shortly.

Tedros and a team of top WHO officials arrived in Aleppo on Saturday on a humanitarian aid flight carrying over USD 290,000 worth of trauma emergency and surgical kits.

Rick Brennan, a regional emergency director with the WHO, said in a media briefing from Damascus Sunday that there have been “no crossline deliveries” into northwest Syria since the earthquake struck last Monday, reported CNN.

“We have one scheduled in the next couple of days. We are still negotiating for that to go ahead,” Brennan said, adding that before the earthquake the WHO was “planning a significant expansion of our crossline work.”

According to Brennan, the WHO has the approval of the Syrian government in Damascus but is waiting for the “approval … from entities on the other side.”

“We are working very, very hard to negotiate that access,” Brennan stressed.
On Sunday, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths tweeted that “trucks with UN relief are rolling into north-west Syria,” posting pictures of trucks being loaded for cross-border deliveries, reported CNN.

Although he said he was “encouraged by the scale-up of convoys from the UN trans shipment centre at the Turkish border,” the aid chief stressed the need to “open more access points” to get aid out quicker.
This call was echoed by Raed Al Saleh, the head of the volunteer organization the White Helmets, in a tweet Sunday. Al Saleh said that after meeting with Griffiths at the Turkish-Syrian border Sunday, his group had appreciated the “apology for the shortcomings & mistakes,” made.

He called on the UN to act now outside the Security Council to “open 3 crossings for emergency aid” to northwest Syria, reported CNN.

Meanwhile, a week after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, teams are rushing to save victims that could still be alive under rubble, with a UN liaison officer in Turkey warning that they are “approaching the end of the search and rescue window.”