On Sunday, about a week after a devastating earthquake that killed more than 28,000 people and left Turkey and Syria in ruins, rescuers recovered a baby of seven months old and a teenage girl from the ruins.
When UN relief director Martin Griffiths arrived in southern Turkey on Saturday to evaluate the quake’s damage, he said he anticipated the death toll to at least quadruple.
Despite the frigid weather that has made millions of people even more miserable and in need of assistance, tens of thousands of rescuers are searching destroyed neighborhoods.
According to state media, dozens of people have been detained for looting or attempting to scam victims in Turkey after the earthquake, and certain humanitarian efforts have been delayed due to security concerns.
Despite the devastation and hopelessness, incredible survival stories continued to surface.
According to a video on official broadcaster TRT Haber, 70-year-old Menekse Tabak exclaimed, “Is the world there?” when she was hauled out of the concrete in the southern city of Kahramanmaras, the epicenter of Monday’s 7.8-magnitude tremor.
More than 140 hours after the earthquake, a 7-month-old baby named Hamza and a 13-year-old girl named Esma Sultan were both saved, according to official media.
Families were battling for time to locate the bodies of their lost relatives in southern Turkey.
In Kahramanmaras, Tuba Yolcu remarked, “We hear (the authorities) will no longer keep the dead waiting, they say they would remove them and bury them).”
Another family embraced one another in sorrow as they watched a cotton field turn into a cemetery and an unending line of bodies arrive for quick burial.
26 million people it has affected.
Griffiths visited Kahramanmaras’ earthquake-stricken areas on Saturday and told Sky News that he expected the death toll to “double or more.”
In a video uploaded to Twitter, he added, “Soon, the search and rescue people will make way for the humanitarian services whose mission it is to look after the extraordinarily large number of victims affected for the next months.”
5.3 million people lost their homes
At least 870,000 people in Turkey and Syria urgently require hot meals, the UN has warned. Up to 5.3 million people may have lost their homes in Syria alone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that about 26 million people have been impacted by the earthquake as it launched a rapid appeal on Saturday for $42.8 million to address the urgent, enormous healthcare needs. Numerous hospitals had been destroyed, it warned.
Native and Foreign organizations contributing
More than 32,000 people from Turkish organizations are reportedly contributing to search and rescue efforts, according to Turkey’s disaster agency. Additionally, there are 8,294 foreign rescuers.
Tens of thousands of volunteers and restaurants are working hard in Gaziantep, Turkey’s gourmet capital, to assist and feed families.
“Our coworkers are in a difficult circumstance. Their homes are destroyed, and their families are victims, said Burhan Cagdas, the proprietor of a nearby diner that has been providing up to 4,000 free meals daily outside since the disaster.
In the city where at least 2,000 people have perished and tens of thousands have been compelled to leave hazardous houses, his own family has been sleeping in automobiles since Monday.
There have reportedly been clashes as well, and the UN rights office on Friday pleaded with all parties in the conflict zone, where Syrian rebels and Kurdish militants are active, to permit humanitarian access.