Earthquake Death Toll Across Turkey-Syria Crosses 34,000 So Far

Guwahati: The death toll from the earthquakes in Turkey and northwest Syria has surpassed 34,000 as rescue attempts are on, CNN reports.

On Sunday, it at least hit 34,179 (local time). The Turkish Emergency Coordination Center SAKOM said that 29,605 people have died in Turkey.

There have been 4,574 confirmed deaths in Syria. According to the health ministry of the Salvation Government governance body, this total includes more than 3,160 in areas of northwest Syria controlled by the opposition.

According to the state news agency SANA, 1,414 people also perished in Syria’s areas under government control.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) is awaiting final approval before sending cross-border assistance delivery into northwest Syria where rebel factions in the nation’s protracted civil conflict control territory and aid deliveries have encountered difficulties.

The WHO expressed hope that its Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus would soon be able to visit the rebel-held regions affected by the terrible earthquake.

On a jet carrying humanitarian goods, Tedros and a group of senior WHO officials landed in Aleppo on Saturday with about USD 290,000 worth of trauma emergency and surgical kits.

There have been “no crossline deliveries” into northwest Syria since the earthquake struck last Monday, according to Rick Brennan, a regional emergency director with the WHO, who stated this in a media briefing from Damascus on Sunday, according to CNN.

“We have one scheduled in the next couple of days. We are still negotiating for that to go ahead,” Brennan said, adding that before the earthquake the WHO was “planning a significant expansion of our crossline work.”

According to Brennan, the WHO has the approval of the Syrian government in Damascus but is waiting for the “approval … from entities on the other side.”

“We are working very, very hard to negotiate that access,” Brennan stressed.

According to CNN, the UN Emergency Supplies Coordinator Martin Griffiths tweeted on Sunday that “trucks containing UN relief are rolling into north-west Syria.” He also posted images of trucks being loaded for cross-border deliveries.

The assistance head emphasised the need to “open more entry points” in order to distribute goods more quickly, even though he claimed he was “encouraged by the scale-up of convoys from the UN trans shipping centre at the Turkish border.”

Raed Al Saleh, the leader of the volunteer group the White Helmets, reaffirmed this appeal in a tweet on Sunday. After meeting Griffiths on Sunday at the Turkish-Syrian border, Al Saleh stated that his group had valued the “apology for the flaws & mistakes” made.

According to CNN, he urged the UN to take immediate action outside of the Security Council to “open 3 crossings for essential relief” to northwest Syria.

Teams are hurrying to save people who may still be alive under rubble a week after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake slammed Turkey and Syria, despite a UN liaison officer in Turkey warning that they are “approaching the end of the search and rescue window.”

Syrian-American actor Jay Abdo said on CNN on Saturday that people were “racing against time” to save loved ones and urged the international world to “act immediately” by sending supplies to Syria.

Even days after the earthquake, there have been incredible scenes of survival and rescue in the midst of catastrophe.

As rescuers in Turkey continue their hunt for survivors, the most recent heartbreaking success story is a 10-year-old girl who was recovered after spending 147 hours trapped under the wreckage.

According to the mayor of Istanbul, a teenage girl named Ayse (Reem Khaled Naasani) was saved in Hatay on Sunday, 162 hours after the earthquake. Additionally, according to the Turkish official television TRT, a 50-year-old lady called Guler Agritmis was also recovered on Sunday after spending days buried in the wreckage.

According to Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Sunday, a two-month-old infant was saved in Turkey’s Hatay region 108 hours after the terrible earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria on Monday.

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