Written by Staff Writer
08 Feb, 2023 | 8:40 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); The death toll following the massive earthquakes that struck Turkiye and Syria passed 7,900 on Wednesday (8) morning.
In Turkey, 5,894 people are confirmed to have been killed, while 2,032 people have died in Syria for a combined total of 7,926 fatalities.
There are fears that the toll will rise inexorably, with World Health Organization officials estimating up to 20,000 may have died.
Syria’s White Helmets say that the death toll in rebel-held northwest Syria now stands at 1,220, from 1,000 a few hours ago.
With the 812 people confirmed dead in government-held areas, this brings the total known toll in Syria to 2032.
At least 5,894 have died in Turkey, bringing the overall lives lost in both countries so far to 7,926.
The numbers are expected to increase “significantly”, the White Helmets said.
Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has warned the next 48 hours would be “crucial” in the hunt for survivors, with temperatures barely above freezing.
With survivors scared to return to their homes after the devastating 7.8 magnitude tremor, the airport has become a refuge for many.
The earthquake’s epicentre is home to millions of Syrian refugees living in Turkey outside the city of Gaziantep.
Turkey is in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake is the most powerful to hit the country since 1999.
In August 1999, a powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Marmara, a densely populated region to the south of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, for 45 seconds. Within days, the official death toll stood at 17,500.
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