Two women rescued from rubble in Turkey, some aid reaches Syria

  • Turkey vows to expedite dismantling and rebuilding
  • Disease poses new threat as Turkey faces water shortages after earthquake
  • Relief Efforts in Syria Hindered, Some Aid Realized

KAHRAMAMAMARAS, Turkey/Jandaris, Syria (Reuters) – Hopes of finding survivors of last week’s devastating earthquake have waned and the focus has shifted to giving survivors some supplies. Two women were dragged from rubble in the southern Turkish city of Kahramanmaras on Wednesday. feel safe.

Rescuers can be seen clapping and hugging each other in a video posted on social media as an ambulance carried away a 74-year-old woman who had been trapped in the rubble for more than nine days. I made it.

Earlier in the day, a 46-year-old woman was rescued in the same city near the epicenter of the quake.

The total death toll in Turkey and Syria has surpassed 41,000, with millions in need of humanitarian assistance and many survivors left homeless in near-freezing winter temperatures. rescue Now there are very few.

In Kahramanmaras, which was severely damaged by the earthquake, hundreds of families were forced to pitch tents in the stadium in the freezing cold. power of the earthquake.

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Health authorities are facing challenges as much of the region’s sanitation infrastructure was damaged or rendered non-functional by the earthquake. a difficult task We are trying to ensure that survivors are now disease-free.

“I haven’t been able to wash off since the earthquake,” said Mohammad Emin, a 21-year-old graphic design student, as he carried flu medicine from the city’s outdoor stadium clinic.

The stadium’s six toilets were not enough to meet demand, he said.Meanwhile, Batyr Berdyklychev, head of the World Health Organization in Turkey, said the lack of water in the earthquake-hit area was a “water-borne disease.” and increase the risk of epidemic outbreaks,” he warned.

On the ferry being used to treat survivors at Iskendurn port in southern Turkey, pharmacist Zin Ozsaigiri was also concerned about the health risks.

“Cholera and typhoid epidemics are expected. In order to prevent these diseases, it is necessary to remove debris as soon as possible and complete calcification and cleaning. I’m doing my best to keep them safe,” Ozaigiri said.

Meanwhile, the government encouraged people to return home “to start a return to normalcy” if authorities deemed the building safe, Tourism Minister Nuri Ersoy said. said at a press conference in Malatya. from the epicenter.

Turkey’s Minister of Environment and Urbanization, Murat Kulm, tweeted that “what needs to be demolished will be demolished immediately and a safe house will be built”.

‘Truly tragic’

Across the border, in Syria, relief efforts are taking place hampered by civil war It has divided the country and divided regional and global powers.

Civil War enemies thwarted at least two attempts to send aid across the front line into the hard-hit Northwest, but aid convoys arrived in the area overnight.

Hosted by Arab Tribes, truck loaded with blanketsEyewitnesses to Reuters witnessed the overnight arrival of food, medical supplies and tents from areas controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces to the rebel-held rebels in the northwest.

According to organizer Hamoud Saleh al-Darjah, more aid is being collected. “This is not the last campaign,” he said.

But some in the area were worried about how they could reopen.

“situation really tragicAbdurrahman Mohammad, a Syrian refugee from neighboring Aleppo province, said in Idlib.

The Turkish-backed rebel-controlled Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Aleppo province suffered the bulk of the casualties from the earthquake in Syria, according to the United Nations and government officials, with 4,400 of the more than 5,800 dead. more than one person died

“Anyone who works as a laborer and rents a house… if it costs $10 a day and you can barely afford it, how are you going to rebuild?” Muhammad from Aleppo said.

Civil defense volunteer Hassan Mohammed said efforts to find survivors in the worst-hit areas of northwestern Syria had ended, but rescuers were still on the scene after reports of missing people. . “We go to areas where there was no internet,” he said.

Some were lucky enough to escape.

In the Syrian Mediterranean town of Jabre, Umm Qanan explains how he woke his three children when an earthquake struck and kept a small closet in his bedroom as a refuge along with a collection of family photos and documents. I will tell you how I hurried to the

The force of the earthquake caused the apartment on the fourth floor to collapse, but the four of them survived.

“I kept thinking to myself: ‘Is it possible? Did the building just collapse? Is this a dream?’ I tried to move, but I couldn’t,” she said. “The children and I some miracle, I ended up with this little space I left empty. ”

Additional reporting by Khalil Ashawi, Maya Gebeily, Daren Butler, Ezgi Erkoyun, Timour Azhari, Firas Makdesi, Ece Tobaksay, Huseyin Hayatsever, Ali Kucukgocmen, and Parisa Hafezi. By Ingrid Melander. Edited by Christina Fincher and Raissa Kasolowsky

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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