Syria-Turkey earthquake death toll rises to more than 15,000
Syria's National Seismological Center says a 4.3-magnitude earthquake of a depth of 30 km was recorded on the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Turkey’s disaster management agency on Thursday said the death toll from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria rose to more than 15,000.
According to the agency, 12,391 people had been confirmed killed in Turkey after Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake and series of aftershocks.
In Syria, the Associated Press said 2,902 people have been reported to have been killed, while the Syria Ministry of Health announced that the number of victims exceeded 3,300.
On Wednesday, the Syrian National Seismological Center confirmed that a new 4.3-magnitude earthquake of a depth of 30 km was recorded on the Syrian-Lebanese border.
The Syrian Ministry of Health said medical teams responded immediately with seven ambulances, following the collapse of a residential building in Harasta, east of Damascus.
Syrian news agency SANA also reported that the earthquake was felt by the residents of Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, and Homs.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday admitted "shortcomings" after criticism of his government's response to the massive earthquake, which is one of the deadliest this century.
As criticism mounted online, Erdogan visited one of the hardest-hit spots, quake epicenter Kahramanmaras, and acknowledged problems in the response.
"Of course, there are shortcomings. The conditions are clear to see. It's not possible to be ready for a disaster like this," the Turkish President said.
Sanctions hampering humanitarian effort: UN
The UN Resident Coordinator in Syria, Al-Mustafa bin Al-Maleeh, said the sanctions imposed on Syria are harming the humanitarian work there, indicating that the situation was now very difficult and the needs were great due to the earthquake, and the humanitarian issue must not be politicized.
Bin Al-Maleeh told SANA that the goal of the United Nations organizations was to convey a message about the suffering of the Syrians as a result of the sanctions imposed on their country and the harm these sanctions have had on humanitarian work, as they prevented millions of dollars from making it to Syria in the form of financial aid.
The UN coordinator underlined that Syria is suffering from a double crisis, the first due to the war that has been ongoing since 2011, and the second due to the earthquake that exacerbated the situation there. Before the earthquake, there were 15 million Syrians in need of aid, and four million of them needed aid on a daily basis.
Bin Al-Maleeh called on the relevant parties not to politicize the humanitarian issue in Syria in order to reach the affected people, stressing that the volume of needs in Syria is large.
As the catastrophe unfolds in front of the whole world's eyes in #Syria, one can't help but notice how the #West deliberately chose not to help the catastrophe-stricken country. pic.twitter.com/f5cOYM0JAB— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) February 7, 2023
The Syrian Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Mohammad Saif Al-Din, stressed that there was a great shortage of food, medical, and relief supplies, in addition to the fuel and equipment needed to save the victims of the devastating earthquake.
Saif Al-Din explained that the shortage was the result of the economic blockade imposed on Syria, which targets the Syrian people and prevents them from their most basic necessities.
The Syrian Minister called on Arab and foreign countries to "provide greater support to Syria to help save the lives of those who are still under the rubble."
On Wednesday, a Venezuelan plane arrived at Damascus International Airport loaded with relief aid for those affected by the earthquake.
Likewise, a fifth Emirati plane arrived at Damascus carrying 10 tonnes of aid.
Amid complete silence from the #West, some countries actually stepped up and answered Syria's humanitarian cry for help.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) February 8, 2023
Here are the countries that aided #Syria in a time of disaster.#SyriaEarthquake #StopSanctionsOnSyria pic.twitter.com/jkcDMbslg0
Al Mayadeen correspondent in Aleppo had also reported that five planes from Algeria, Iran, and Iraq had arrived at Aleppo International Airport.
Read more: Exclusive: US sanctions preventing Syria from receiving aid - FM