Turkey earthquake LATEST: Third quake hits close to surface as death toll approaches 5,000
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Yet another earthquake hit Turkey early this morning after two others wrought devastation across the southwest of the country and northern Syria yesterday. The death toll is approaching 5,000, and thousands more remain trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has admitted there are still areas in Turkey and Syria that governments and aid organisations have been unable to contact following the quakes.
‘We’re especially concerned about areas where we do not yet have information,’ Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the WHO’s executive board meeting in Geneva this morning.
‘Damage mapping is one way to understand where we need to focus our attention.’
The number of people killed by the quakes is likely to be considerably higher than the current official death toll as rescuers begin to reach more remote regions.
NEW earthquake hits Turkey in early hours as death toll nears 5,000
A third earthquake rocked Turkey early this morning, adding to the misery of yesterday when two others demolished huge swathes of territory in Turkey’s southwest and the north of neighbouring Syria.
The 5.8-magnitude quake struck at a depth of 1.2 miles in central Turkey, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said, as rescue efforts continued and as the death toll in Turkey alone rose past 3,300.
A winter storm causing freezing temperatures – which dropped to -5C overnight in some areas – has been hampering those working desperately to free people from the rubble of destroyed buildings, with the cold weather making the need to reach trapped survivors even more urgent.
The death toll in Turkey and Syria is now approaching 5,000, with rescuers locked in a race against time to free as many people from the rubble as possible before it’s too late.
Here’s a round-up of the events that unfolded overnight:
In Turkey, the death toll climbed to 3,381 people, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said.
The death toll in Syria, already devastated by more than 11 years of war, stands at more than 1,500, according to the Syrian government and a rescue service in the insurgent-held northwest.
Freezing winter weather hampered search efforts through the night. Temperatures overnight in the quake-hit city of Gaziantep sank to -5 C (23 F), subjecting thousands of displaced people to bitter conditions with little shelter.
Turkey has deployed more than 24,400 search and rescue personnel to the quake area.
10 ships were helping the rescue efforts, by transporting the wounded to hospitals, mainly from the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun.
Disaster management agency official Orhan Tatar said about 55 helicopters had conducted 154 sorties to transport emergency aid and around 85 trucks were distributing food.
Tatar said his agency had received 11,342 reports of collapsed buildings, but only 5,775 of those reports have been confirmed.
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