New deadly toll, Syria's request for aid from the European Union, white helmets and rescuers hard at work,
takes stock of the violent earthquakes that hit Turkey on Monday 6 February.
New death toll at 9,500
The death toll from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday now exceeds 11,200, according to official reports released on Wednesday.
Syria has asked for help from the EU
Syria, after Turkey, has requested European Union aid for relief following the massive earthquake that struck both countries, European Commissioner Janez Lenarcic announced on Wednesday, encouraging EU member states to provide this assistance.
Read alsoEarthquake in Turkey and Syria: in the ruins of Antioch, the complaint of the victims awaiting help
This morning we received a request for assistance from the Syrian government through the Civil Protection Mechanism.
We share this request with EU member states and encourage them to provide the assistance requested
,” the official, in charge of crisis management, told a press conference.
Pope calls for solidarity
Pope Francis on Wednesday called for international solidarity with Turkey and Syria, two days after the terrible earthquake, the death toll of which now exceeds 11,200.
I thank those who are committed to bringing relief, and I encourage everyone to show solidarity with these lands already partly martyred by a long war
", declared the Argentine pope at the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican. .
Let us pray together that these brothers and sisters can move forward in the face of this tragedy
With emotion I pray for (the affected populations), and I express my sympathy to these peoples, to the relatives of the victims and to all those who suffer because of this devastating calamity
", he added.
On Monday, the head of the Catholic Church sent his condolences to the two countries, saying he was "
" by the consequences of the earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8, which occurred at dawn on Monday.
The White Helmets beg for help
The White Helmets, rescuers from rebel areas in Syria, on Wednesday implored the international community to send teams to help them, in a race against time to save people trapped under the rubble after a deadly earthquake.
We call on the international community to assume its responsibilities with regard to civilian casualties.
We need international rescue teams to enter our regions
,” White Helmets spokesman Mohammad al-Shebli told AFP.
It's a real race against time, people are dying every second under the rubble
," he added.
Read alsoTurkey: the earthquake reveals the authorities' lack of anticipation
The White Helmets, drawing on years of experience gained during the war in Syria, are spearheading relief operations in the rebel-held north of the country following the earthquake.
According to our information, hundreds of families are still missing or trapped under the rubble
," the spokesperson added.
In freezing cold, rescuers race against time to try to rescue survivors of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook southeastern Turkey at dawn on Monday and neighboring northern Syria.
Bad weather is complicating the task of rescue and the Turkish Interior Minister warned on Tuesday that the next 48 hours would be "
" to find survivors.
The road leading to the Turkish city of Antakya (the ancient Antioch), in the particularly affected province of Hatay, is congested with aid trucks, construction machinery and ambulances slaloming between private cars who are fleeing.
The city is on the ground, drowned in a thick cloud of dust due to the clearing machines digging through the rubble.
As far as the eye can see, there are only collapsed or partially collapsed buildings.
Even those who are still holding are deeply cracked and no one dares to stay there.
Antakya is over
”, repeat the inhabitants.
In Gaziantep, a Turkish city near the epicenter, a resident has already lost hope of finding her aunt alive, buried under the rubble.
It's too late.
Now we are waiting for our dead
,” she says.