Turkey-Syria earthquake: Death toll crosses 35,000 as Syrians cry for aid
According to Turkish Emergency Coordination Center, 29,605 died in Turkey while the number is 4,574 in Syria
A week after a deadly 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, the death toll continues to mount with the latest figures pegging the casualties at 34,179.
According to Turkish Emergency Coordination Center, 29,605 died in Turkey while the number is 4,574 in Syria.
Of these, more than 3,160 are in opposition-held parts of northwestern Syria. As many as 1,414 died in government-controlled parts of Syria, reported sources.
Meanwhile, a magnitude 4.6 aftershock struck Turkey’s earthquake zone on Sunday, according to the country's disaster management authority.
While miracle rescues continue to happen in Turkey, the chances of finding survivors remain bleak.
Reports from Syria too paint a bleak picture as the war-torn country struggles with rescue and lack of aid for survivors and displaced people.
The Syrian Civil Defence Force, the White Helmets, continues to conduct rescue missions in opposition-held areas with inadequate equipment.
The situation in the rebel-held areas in the northwest is dire as many, already displaced by the civil war, ended up being homeless again. These regions have received little aid.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is waiting for final approval to send aid to the rebel-held areas despite obstacles.
WHO director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed hope that they will soon be able to travel into these areas after arriving in Aleppo on Saturday on a humanitarian aid flight carrying over $290,000 worth of trauma emergency and surgical kits
Though these areas are heavily dependent on aid, international assistance has been so slow that the first UN convoy to reach the area from Turkey was on Thursday, three days after the earthquake.
Though help could be diverted from Syrian government-held areas to rebel-held areas in the northwest, this is a taxing process.
According to forces who rally against President Bashar Assad, the government may try to channel the aid meant for rebel-held areas to support people close to the government.
A convoy carrying UN aid was scheduled to cross into rebel-held Idlib from the government area on Sunday but was cancelled after its entry was blocked by the Qaida-affiliated rebel group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which dominates the area.
An administrative arm of the group said in a statement declined to receive assistance from government areas.
Turkish-backed rebels have also blocked aid convoys from reaching earthquake victims sent by rival US-backed Kurdish groups in neighbouring areas.