WHO’s Tedros pledges support after first visit to Turkey’s seismic zone


ADANA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) will support Ankara in its response to a massive earthquake that has killed more than 50,000 people, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday, bringing the death toll from recent aftershocks to two. Said to have increased in person.

Severe earthquakes that hit southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria over the past three weeks have injured more than 108,000 people in Turkey and forced millions to seek refuge in tents or move to other cities. I am

The latest major aftershock with a magnitude of 5.6 struck on Monday, killing two people and injuring 140, the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) said, adding 32 people were rescued from the debris.

Turkey is “doing its best” but still needs international help to help victims of the earthquake, Tedros said, adding that the destruction was “really massive” for modern history.

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At a press conference with Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca in Antakya, one of the most affected cities, Tedros said the two had discussed the health situation in the camp.

“These are things like respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, especially mental health issues, because a lot of people are really traumatized. They also need rehabilitation services, especially orthopedic services. people,” he said.

“From the WHO side, we will provide all possible assistance based on observed or documented issues and the ministry’s priorities,” Tedros added.

Over 160,000 buildings, including 520,000 apartments, have collapsed or been severely damaged in Turkey by the worst disaster in Turkey’s modern history.

President Tayyip Erdoğan has pledged to rebuild their homes within a year, so thousands of people can leave the daily lines for tents, shipping containers and food and move into permanent residences. It will be many months before it is.

The quake comes months ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections due by June, posing the biggest political challenge for Erdogan in his 20-year rule.

(Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Birsen Altayli, Ali Kucukgocmen; editing by Andrea Ricci)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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