Over 38,000 dead from powerful twin earthquakes in southern Türkiye - M5 Dergi
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Over 38,000 dead from powerful twin earthquakes in southern Türkiye

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Last week’s twin quakes, centered in Kahramanmaras, impacted more than 13M people across 11 provinces

At least 38,044 people were killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Feb. 6, the country’s disaster agency said early Friday.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes were centered in Kahramanmaras and struck 10 other provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Hatay, Gaziantep, Malatya, Kilis, Osmaniye, Elazig and Sanliurfa. More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

More than 264,389 personnel are currently working in the field, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said in a statement.

Nearly 38,044 people have been evacuated from the quake-hit regions so far, according to AFAD.

Condolences have poured in from around the world expressing solidarity with Türkiye, with many countries sending rescue teams and aid.

A total of 5,753 foreign personnel from 67 nations are currently working in the disaster zone, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

It also said that 101 countries have offered assistance so far, and two more countries are expected to send rescue teams.

Shelters for victims

Besides rescue teams, blankets, tents, food, and psychological support teams along with over 12,600 vehicles, including excavators, tractors and bulldozers, were also sent to the affected areas.

More than 386,874 tents and 3,282,725 blankets have been sent to the quake-hit zone, said AFAD.

​After the initial earthquake, an air bridge was established by the Turkish Armed Forces to deliver relief supplies and search and rescue teams to the region.

A large fleet of aircraft, including A-400Ms, carried search and rescue teams and vehicles to the region. Ambulance planes are also using the air bridge.

Rescue and relief personnel and materials were sent to the region with 121 helicopters and 78 aircraft, AFAD said.

A total of 26 ships were also assigned to the region for personnel and material shipment and for evacuation.

Türkiye doing its best to heal wounds

National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the Turkish Armed Forces has continued to take all necessary measures right since the quakes’ immediate aftermath.

“Today, above all, is a day of unity and solidarity. We will all do our best to heal this wound,” Akar said at a helicopter coordination center in Adana.

On an air bridge established by the Turkish military to deliver relief supplies and search and rescue teams to the region, Akar said: “A total of 2,602 sorties were carried out with 65 aircraft, 66 helicopters and 41 UAVs/UCAVs, together with aircraft and helicopters commissioned by the US, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the UK, Qatar and Norway.”

He added that aid has been delivered to 32 districts and 152 villages via these flights so far.

The Turkish Navy has also set up hospital ships to aid victims in the region, said the defense chief, adding that the TCG Bayraktar and TCB Sancaktar continued to serve injured survivors.

“So far, around 3,400 injured have arrived. The necessary medical intervention was carried out. Twenty-two surgeries were performed,” he added.

Akar underlined that some of the earthquake victims transported via military aircraft were hosted in the social facilities of the Turkish Armed Forces.

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