Ankara: At least 35,418 people were killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on February 6, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 tremors last week were centered in Kahramanmaras and struck nine other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa. More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.
Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.
Speaking after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said that “13,208 injured are still receiving treatment in our hospitals.”
More than 249,000 search and rescue personnel are currently working in the field, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said in a statement.
Almost 195,962 people have been evacuated from the quake-hit regions so far, according to AFAD.
Condolences have poured in from around the world expressing solidarity with Türkiye, with many countries sending rescue teams and aid.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said a total 15 babies affected by the earthquakes were brought to a hospital in Ankara for comprehensive health checks.
A total of 9,046 foreign personnel from 82 nations are currently working in the disaster zone, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
It also said that 100 countries had offered assistance so far, with two more expected to send rescue teams.
Besides rescue teams, blankets, tents, food, and psychological support teams, along with over 12,300 vehicles, including excavators, tractors, and bulldozers, were also sent to the affected areas, according to Anadolu news.
More than 227,762 tents, 2,607,390 blankets, and 48,271 containers have been sent to the 10 worst-hit provinces, said AFAD.
After the initial earthquake, an air bridge was established by the Turkish Armed Forces to deliver relief supplies and search and rescue teams to the region.
A large fleet of aircraft, including A-400Ms, carried search and rescue teams and vehicles to the region. Ambulance planes are also using the air bridge.
Rescue and relief personnel and materials were sent to the region with 170 helicopters and 76 aircraft, AFAD said.
A total of 26 ships were also assigned to the region for personnel and material shipment and for evacuation.