6 Feb. () –
The death toll from the 7.4 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale registered this Monday in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria, has risen to more than 600, according to data provided by the authorities of both countries.
The Turkish Vice President, Fuad Oktay, has indicated that at least 284 people have died and more than 2,300 have been injured due to the earthquake and has specified that the data correspond to the damage count in ten provinces of the country, as reported by the state agency Turkish news, Anatolia.
The governor of the province of Kahramanmaras, Omer Faruk Coskun, stressed that “it is not possible to give an exact number of deaths and injuries at this time” and added that “the damage is serious.” The earthquake had its epicenter in the Pazarcik district, located in this province.
Along these lines, the mayor of Kahramanmaras, Hayrettin Gungor, has acknowledged that the situation is a “disaster” and has added that the authorities “are on the ground with all their capabilities.” “Our request to the citizens is not to crowd and not disturb the traffic. We need to help the (search and rescue) teams,” he argued.
For his part, the Minister of the Interior, Suleyman Soylu, has indicated in a press conference that the Turkish Government has declared the highest level of alarm, which includes the request for international aid, and has sent numerous search and rescue teams to earthquake zones.
The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has conveyed his “best wishes” to all citizens who have been “affected by the earthquake (…) and that it has been felt in many parts” of the country. “We also coordinate the works started after the earthquake. We hope to overcome this disaster together as soon as possible and with as little damage as possible, and we continue with our work,” he said on his Twitter profile.
The earthquake has also left about 240 dead in the areas of Syria controlled by the authorities, according to data from the Syrian Ministry of Health, which has pointed out that about 640 people have been injured. Most of the victims reside in the provinces of Latakia, Aleppo, Hama and Tartus.
Given the situation, the Syrian Ministry of Defense has announced the mobilization of all its units and institutions to help the victims, according to a statement collected by the Syrian state news agency, SANA. The country’s president, Bashar al Assad, has also led an emergency government meeting to analyze the situation.
To these figures we must add more than 90 dead and 500 wounded in areas controlled by the rebels in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, as detailed in statements to the German news agency DPA by the president of the Syrian American Medical Society. , Basel Termanini. The organization covers about 50 percent of health care in these areas of the Arab country.