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Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Almost 47,000 dead – rescue operations stopped in many places


After the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Syria, the death toll has risen to almost 47,000. In many places, rescue operations have been suspended.

After the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Syria, the death toll has risen to almost 47,000.

In many places, rescue operations have been suspended.

  • 13 days




    : Turkey stops search for survivors in almost all provinces.

  • US Secretary of State Blinken



    : Aid increased to $185 million.

  • New earthquake


    magnitude 5.3

    in south-east


    - twelve days after the disaster.

  • This

    news ticker

    on the catastrophic






    is updated regularly.

Update from February 20, 6:16 a.m .:

Turkish media often speak of the “disaster of the century”, but the true extent only gradually becomes clear.

A total of almost 47,000 deaths have now been registered, more than 41,000 in Turkey alone. 

In Syria alone, 8.8 million people are affected by the consequences, wrote the deputy UN representative for Syria Najat Rochdi on Twitter on Sunday.

In Syria, the situation was devastating for many people even before the earthquake.

According to the UN, more than 15 million people previously needed some form of assistance.

Afad leader Yunus Sezer estimates that more than 1.2 million people have fled the affected region in Turkey.

Over a million people are currently in emergency shelters.

The affected earthquake area in Turkey is unusually large.

According to the Forest Ministry, the affected area covers an area of ​​103,000 square kilometers and is home to 13.5 million people.

This corresponds to 17 percent of the total population of Turkey.


Children walk next to a tent at an emergency shelter set up for victims of the earthquake on the border with Turkey in Syria.

© Anas Alkharboutli/dpa/picture alliance

NATO is also involved in the relief efforts and is preparing to set up a camp in Turkey with emergency accommodation for at least 4,000 people.

A spokesman for the alliance said that a cargo ship with 600 containers left the port of the Italian city of Taranto on Sunday evening.

It should arrive in the Turkish city of Iskenderun within the week.

US Secretary of State Blinken in Turkey: Aid increased to $185 million

Update from February 19, 8:46 p.m .:

The number of people killed in the earthquake in Turkey has risen to 41,020.

This was announced by the Turkish civil protection authority Afad on Sunday evening, according to the state news agency Anadolu.

In Syria, around 5,900 people have died in connection with the devastating earthquakes.

However, the number is only updated irregularly.

In total, almost 47,000 people lost their lives in both countries.


In many earthquake areas, rescue operations have now been discontinued.

© Ahmed Deeb/dpa

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, together with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, took a look at the destruction in the province of Hatay, which was badly hit by the earthquake.

Blinken said the US government is increasing earthquake aid for Turkey and Syria by an additional US$100 million.

The US has now pledged a total of $185 million.

The aid should benefit the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.

The money will be used to buy relief supplies such as medicine, blankets, tents and warm clothing.

In addition, the supply of clean water and sanitary facilities, but also education for children should be guaranteed.

13 days after catastrophic earthquake: Turkey stops searching for survivors in almost all provinces

Update from February 19, 2:47 p.m

.: In Turkey, the rescue operations have been stopped in almost all provinces affected by the severe earthquake.

The search for possible survivors is only continuing in around 40 buildings in the provinces of Kahramanmaras and Hatay, said the head of Turkish civil protection, Yunus Sezer, on Sunday.

Thousands of people are still missing in the rubble.

Given the low temperatures and the passage of time, their chances of survival are vanishingly small.

However, a rescue team managed to rescue two more people alive from the rubble in Turkey on Saturday (see first report).

More than 46,000 people lost their lives in connection with the severe earthquakes in Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023.

  • According to the Turkish civil protection authority Afad, 40,689 fatalities have been reported so far on Sunday (February 19).

  • So far, 5,900 people have died in Syria in connection with the devastating earthquakes.

    However, this number is only updated irregularly.

No drinking water, no sanitary facilities: fear of epidemics is growing in the earthquake area

Update from February 19, 10 a.m.:

In Turkey and Syria, people are struggling with the devastating effects of the severe earthquakes.

Bodies still lie under the rubble.

Thousands have become homeless.

In some regions earthquake victims live in unheated tents, there is no running water or sanitary facilities.

In Antakya, which was completely destroyed, people report, according to the dpa news agency, that they have to defecate outside. 

Doctors are already warning of the outbreak of epidemics in Turkey and Syria.

The situation in Syria is particularly difficult.

In the Northwest, people have long been underserved due to war and displacement, says MSF Vice President Parnian Parvanta.

"Even before the earthquake there were cases of cholera in this region." According to the UN, there are currently 47,000 suspected cases and 20 deaths in north-western Syria that may be related to cholera.

Dozens died from diarrhea in Syria last year.

The tremors have destroyed hospitals and sanitary facilities, according to MSF.

Therefore, there are problems with water treatment in many places.

The many bodies that have not yet been recovered could also pollute the water, warns Thomas Geiner, a doctor with earthquake experience and part of the disaster relief team from the Navis association.

Thousands of people are also believed to have died in the rubble in Turkey.

The authorities are trying to rescue them as quickly as possible, also with help from Germany.


After severe earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: People from the Turkish city of Kahramanmarash are trying to save their belongings from the rubble.

© Celestino Arce Lavin/imago

After earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Turkish government calls on property owners to provide housing

Update from February 19, 7.41 a.m

.: The Turkish government is calling on property owners to provide housing for the earthquake victims.

Owners of vacant or unused apartments and houses can make their living space available either free of charge or at a low rent via a website specially set up for this purpose, as Vice President Fuat Oktay announced on state broadcaster TRT.

A prerequisite for the charitable help is that the apartment is made available for at least three months.

According to Oktay, the local authorities should determine whether the apartments provided and the rents are reasonable.

When allocating apartments, people in need should be given priority, such as people with disabilities, the elderly or the chronically ill.

At the same time, Vice President Oktay warned against exploiting the helpless situation of those affected by the earthquake catastrophe by charging excessive rents.

He announced that such a practice would not be tolerated and that people would be held accountable accordingly.

New earthquake of magnitude 5.3 in south-east Turkey - twelve days after the disaster

First report from February 18, 2023

Istanbul – Twelve days after the devastating earthquake in the Turkish-Syrian border area, another strong tremor shook southeast Turkey on Saturday evening (February 18).

The earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 was registered at around 10:31 p.m. local time (20:31 CET) in the municipality of Göksun, the Kandilli earthquake monitor said in the evening via the short message service Twitter.

The USGS put the magnitude of the quake at 5.0.

The state news agency Anadolu reported a magnitude of 5.1, citing information from the civil protection agency Afad.

The municipality of Göksun is located in the province of Kahramanmaras, which was hit by the earthquake disaster in the Syrian-Turkish border area.

It was initially not known whether the quake on Saturday evening caused damage or whether people were injured.


The province of Kahramanmaras was already affected by the earthquake disaster twelve days ago.

© Hussein Malla/dpa

Twelve days after the disaster: 5.3 magnitude earthquake in south-east Turkey

Twelve days ago, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 shook southeast Turkey, followed hours later by a second severe earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6.

The number of confirmed deaths in Turkey and Syria is still rising - more than 46,000 deaths have been confirmed so far

(as of February 18)


In Turkey alone, the number of deaths has now risen to 40,642, according to the Afad civil protection agency.

In Syria, around 5,900 people have died in connection with the devastating earthquakes.

However, the number is only updated irregularly.

Tens of thousands were also injured, millions are affected by the effects of the violent tremors.

Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: reports of rescues even after 296 hours

Meanwhile, the reports of rescues from Turkey are still not coming to an end.

Helpers are said to have rescued three people, including a child, from the rubble of a collapsed house in Antakya.

They were buried for 296 hours, reported the state broadcaster TRT.

The report could not initially be independently verified.

However, the 12-year-old child did not survive despite medical treatment, the state news agency Anadolu said.

According to the information, the three people were a man, a woman and their child.

A video showed how the helpers brought the man and the woman to an ambulance on a stretcher and medics treated the child.

Earthquake in Turkey: Experts warn of aftershocks

Experts from the Turkish civil protection already said in the aftermath of the severe earthquake that they expect strong aftershocks.

So far, according to Afad, there have been more than 4,700 of them.

One expert even advised against rebuilding Turkish cities on the same spot.

"Sooner or later" more strong earthquakes would hit the region, said Prof. Dr.

Marco Bohnhoff from the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam of the German Press Agency.

According to experts, a severe earthquake is also “overdue” in Istanbul.

The current earthquakes are worrying citizens beyond the borders of Turkey and Syria.

Where in Europe are earthquakes still likely?

Concerns about a natural disaster are growing in the countries of the Balkans.

An earthquake happened in a holiday region in Croatia last Thursday (February 16) - the tremors were probably felt as far away as Bavaria.


List of rubrics: © Ahmed Deeb/dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-02-20

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