On video: a girl is rescued from the ruins in the town of Azaz in Syria following the earthquake (Reuters)
Syria has already gotten used to a lot of destruction since the outbreak of the civil war almost 12 years ago, but the powerful earthquakes that hit neighboring Turkey today (Monday) caused tremendous damage.
Nearly 900 people were killed in the regime-controlled coastal areas and opposition strongholds in the northwest of the country, and thousands more were injured.
The epicenter was near an area where millions of displaced people live in harsh conditions, and many buildings that suffered damage throughout the war were prone to collapse.
The aid organization the Norwegian Refugee Council said that the earthquake will only add to the suffering of millions of Syrians who are experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis, in the middle of winter.
The Syrian government turned to the international community for humanitarian aid, but an official in Damascus denied that a request was also forwarded to Israel, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Ruler Bashar Assad convened an emergency meeting in the morning and the victims include the Prime Minister's sister, Hussein Aranos, and some of her children and grandchildren who were killed in Hamat.
Rescue teams search for survivors after the earthquake, Latakia, Syria, February 6, 2023 (Photo: Reuters)
The rescue organization "The White Helmets", which operates in the territories controlled by the opposition, said that hundreds more families are buried under the rubble.
Despite the heavy disaster, several exciting moments were recorded throughout the day when the organization's people rescued alive children who were trapped under the collapsed concrete blocks.
Ismail al-Abdullah, one of the members of the organization, told the BBC that "we need help, we need the international community to do something, to help us, to support us. Northwest Syria is a disaster area. We need help from everyone to save our people."
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In the city of Aleppo, which was conquered and destroyed during the war and is now under the control of the regime, buildings collapsed one after another.
In the rebel-held town of Jandris in Aleppo province, a mountain of concrete, steel and clothing towered over where a multi-story building had stood just hours earlier.
"There were 12 families under there. Not one came out, not even one," said one of the shocked residents.
Abdel-Salam Al-Mahmoud, a resident of the badly damaged town of Atarib, described the earthquake as "like the apocalypse."
The UN Agency for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities in Northwest Syria said that the death toll in the region is expected to rise. "This is an addition to all the layers of suffering," said the agency's spokesman.
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