Well over 33,000 people have been marked dead in the wake of the staggeringly massive earthquakes that rocked Syria and Turkey this pat week, according to the most recently released estimates.
Officials for Turkey have reported a total of 29,605 deaths as of this past Sunday evening, while in Syria the total was reported to be 3,553, though the Associated Press did highlight that the numbers from the government-held parts of the country have not been issued updates over the past few days.
The numbers have continued to climb as the work crews dig through the remains of the building that were shaken down to rubble as the 7.8-magnitude and 7.5-magnitude earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria early last week. Those who managed to survive the ordeal continue to deal with extended hardship, mostly due to the need for food and shelter as temperatures drop below the freezing point.
▶️ Drone footage taken Feb. 11, 2023, shows the extent of the damage in Kahramanmaras.
— Voice of America (@VOANews) February 11, 2023
Not every bit of news from the incident has been bad news, as there have been numerous reports which show that even days in the wake of the tremors, people are being found alive. Among these sporadic bright points, as reported by NBC News, was a mother and young child being found and rescued after a stint of well over 150 hours stuck. To go along with these bright points, numerous pets have also been saved.
Rescue workers save various animals trapped under the rubble in Turkey after deadly earthquakes hit pic.twitter.com/NaMcfHJlpj
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 9, 2023
A civil war in Syria which has spanned well over a decade and displaced multiple millions of people has only made the rescue operation much harder to deal with.
United Nations Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths explained that the world has “failed” the people located in northwest Syria.
“They rightly feel abandoned,” he stated while at the border shared between Turkey and Syria. “Looking for international help that hasn’t arrived. My duty and our obligation is to correct this failure as fast as we can. That’s my focus now.”
Animated map of seismicity near Turkey quakes starting ~3am local time plotting Feb 6 M7.8 mainshock (pink), early aftershocks (orange), M7.5 aftershock to the north (tan), and subsequent aftershocks in the north (tan). Time vs. magnitude progression shown on bottom graph. pic.twitter.com/TTa7qdZWzO
— USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) February 7, 2023
The region affected sits on massive fault lines and has been forced to deal with frequent earthquakes, but these most recent quakes are proving to be quite historic in regard to the levels of death and destruction caused.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who declared a period of seven days of national mourning, has previously stated that his country had been shaken by its “biggest disaster” since all the way back to 1939 for the Erzincan earthquake, which resulted in the deaths of well over 30,000 people. In the face of rising criticism over the nation’s early response to the massive disaster, Erdogan also ended up conceding a few “shortcomings.”