25 Feb. () –
Almost a million people have been forced to leave their homes in southern Turkey after the catastrophic earthquake that left more than 44,000 deaths across the country on February 6, according to estimates by the Agency for the Management of Turkish Disasters and Emergencies (AFAD).
The AFAD has evidence of at least 474,520 evacuees by land, sea and air under the coordination of the agency, plus 105,683 who left their homes by their own means. However, hundreds of thousands of unregistered people remain, bringing the total displaced to almost one million, “a number that exceeds the population of 57 provinces of the country.”
The evacuees, they explain to the newspaper ‘Hurriyet’, present mental health problems given the uncertainty that the future holds for them. “As soon as the relocation problem is resolved, we will return to our city and we will never leave it,” a survivor explained to the outlet.
Turkey has also confirmed the return of 18,000 Syrians to the northwest of the country, also affected by the earthquakes. In addition, the lifeless bodies of 2,000 Syrians who died in the earthquakes on the border between the two countries have been identified.
The total number of deaths from the earthquakes amounts to more than 50,000 with the balance of Syria, although the number of victims in the Arab country is much more difficult to calculate, especially in the northwest, in the hands of rebel groups.
Despite the fact that the figures increase every day, the total death toll in Syria exceeds 5,900 — with more than 11,000 wounded –, according to official data that has not been updated since February 12, a few days after the earthquakes.