Death toll from earthquake in Turkey nears 3,000, rescuers search for survivors
Rescue teams worked early on Tuesday to release people trapped in the rubble of buildings in southern Turkey as the death toll in the country from a devastating earthquake a day earlier rose to nearly 3,000.
The magnitude 7.8 quake hit Turkey and neighbouring Syria early on Monday, toppling entire apartment blocks, wrecking hospitals, and leaving thousands more people injured or homeless.
Nearly 8,000 people have been rescued from 4,758 buildings destroyed in the tremors a day earlier, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in its latest statement.
AFAD head Yunus Sezer said that 2,921 people had died in Turkey as aftershocks continued to shake the region. Another earthquake of 5.6 magnitude struck central Turkey on Tuesday, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said.
Freezing winter weather hampered search efforts for survivors through the night. A woman’s voice was heard calling for help under a pile of rubble in the southern province of Hatay. Nearby, the body of a small child lay lifeless.
Weeping in the rain, a resident who gave his name as Deniz wrung his hands in despair.
“They’re making noises but nobody is coming,” he said. “We’re devastated, we’re devastated. My God … They’re calling out. They’re saying, ‘Save us,’ but we can’t save them. How are we going to save them? There has been nobody since the morning.”
Temperatures fell close to freezing overnight, worsening conditions for people trapped under rubble or left homeless.