- Earthquake strikes as rescue efforts scale back in Turkey
- US promises to help Turkey ‘as long as it needs’
- Turkey death toll rises to 41,156
ANTAKYA, TURKEY (Reuters) – Another earthquake struck the Turkish-Syrian border on Monday. It comes just two weeks after the region was devastated by a massive earthquake that killed more than 47,000 people and damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes. .
earthquake on mondayThis time with a magnitude of 6.4, it was centered near the southern Turkish city of Antakya and was felt in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.
The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the European Mediterranean Seismology Center (EMSC).
Hatay Mayor Lutov Sabbath told the Habertak broadcaster that he had received reports of people trapped under the rubble from the recent earthquake. Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said three people were killed and more than 200 injured.
In Samandag, where the country’s disaster and emergency management agency AFAD reported one death, residents said more buildings had collapsed, but most of the town had already been evacuated after the initial quake. Piles of debris and discarded furniture lined the dark, abandoned streets.
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Muna Al Omar said he was in a tent in a park in central Antakya when the ground began to rise again.
“I thought the earth was going to crack under my feet,” she said, crying as she held her 7-year-old son in her arms.
A few hours ago, the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken During a visit to Turkey, Washington said it would help “as long as it is necessary” as rescue efforts ended in the wake of the February 6 earthquake and its aftershocks, shifting the focus to emergency shelters and reconstruction efforts.
The death toll from the earthquake two weeks ago rose to 41,156 in Turkey, AFAD said on Monday. Further increases are expected, with 385,000 apartments destroyed or severely damaged and many people still missing.
President Tayyip Erdogan said about 200,000 apartments will be built in 11 earthquake-hit Turkish provinces. Start next month.
The total US humanitarian aid to support the earthquake response in Turkey and Syria has reached $185 million, according to the US State Department.
Among the earthquake survivors are some 356,000 pregnant women who urgently need access to medical services, said the United Nations Reproductive Health Agency.
It includes 226,000 women in Turkey and 130,000 women in Syria, of whom about 38,800 are due to give birth next month. Many of them were sheltered in camps or were exposed to freezing temperatures and struggled to find food and clean water.
In Syria, already devastated by more than a decade of civil war, most deaths are in the northwest, where the United Nations says 4,525 people died. It is dominated by warring armed groups, complicating aid efforts.
Syrian authorities say 1,414 people have been killed in areas under the control of the Assad regime.
Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said a convoy of 14 trucks entered northwestern Syria from Turkey on Sunday to support relief efforts.
The World Food Program has also put pressure on authorities in the region to stop blocking access to aid from regions controlled by the Syrian government.
As of Monday morning, 197 trucks carrying UN humanitarian aid entered northwestern Syria through two border crossings, said a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey have returned to their homes in northwest Syria to contact relatives affected by the devastation.
Hundreds of Syrians lined up to cross the border at Turkey’s Silvegoz border crossing early Monday morning.
Mustafa Hannan, who dropped off his pregnant wife and three-year-old son, said he saw about 350 people waiting.
A 27-year-old auto electrician said after his Antakya home collapsed, his family took a pledge from the authorities to allow them to spend up to six months in Syria without losing the chance to return to Turkey, and spent several months there. He said he had to leave the country.
“I’m afraid they won’t be able to come back,” he said. But if my family can’t return, my life will be lost.”
Reported by Ali Kucukgocmen and Henriette Chacar. Additional reports by Humeyra Pamuk, Huseyin Hayatsever, Ezgi Erkoyun from Turkey and Akriti Sharma from Bangalore. Written by Michael Georgy, Dominic Evans and Parisa Hafezi.Edited by Alex Richardson, Alexander Smith, Allison Williams, Lisa Shoemaker
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