The total death toll, including those from Syria, will certainly exceed 35,000. In Syria, the official death toll has remained at around 3,500 for more than two days. But according to the United Nations, more than 4,300 people have died in opposition-controlled areas alone.
More than 50,000
The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that the death toll in both countries was above 35,000. The UN emergency coordinator expects the earthquakes to have killed more than 50,000 people.
The UN thinks that the phase in which rescue work is being carried out in Turkey and Syria is ‘ending’. From now on, the focus will shift to emergency aid, such as providing shelter, food and psychological help to victims and survivors.
Aid in rebel territory
The UN wants the emergency aid not only to be limited to Turkey and the government areas in Syria. The hard-to-reach region that is under the control of rebels must also receive the necessary help. According to the UN, aid is coming that way through government territory.
It has now been a week since Turkey and Syria were hit by devastating earthquakes. According to local media, people are still being rescued sporadically. The newspaper Milliyet writes about a person who was pulled alive from under the rubble after 176 hours in the Hatay region and speaks of a miracle. The chance that survivors will be found is decreasing.
RTL News correspondent Olaf Koens was in badly hit Antakyamet and saw the devastation with his own eyes:
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