Death toll from earthquake tops 5,100 in Turkey, Syria
The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey exceeds 5000 in Turkey and Syria while thousands of rescuers desperately search through debris in the freezing weather.
After the earthquake that shook the region, killing thousands in Turkey and Syria, thousands of rescue workers were digging through debris in freezing conditions on Tuesday in a desperate search for survivors after an earthquake that has left at least 5,100 people dead in Turkey and Syria, a devastating toll that continued to rise.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday was one of the deadliest natural disasters this century, and according to a report by The New York Times, dozens of countries sent rescue teams to help in the search. Experts warned that the window for finding survivors was closing in the aftermath of the quake.
The effort is made more difficult by the earthquake zone's location, which crosses Syrian territory under government and armed groups control and is already troubled by a war and refugee crisis, according to the report.
According to UN officials, the only border crossing between Syria and Turkey that has been authorized by the UN for the delivery of foreign aid into Syria is shut down as a result of the earthquake damage to the nearby roads.
That said, freezing weather conditions have hampered rescue efforts, along with power cuts and blocked roads.
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In a related context, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Tuesday declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces affected by the earthquake. “We are face to face with one of the biggest disasters ever for our region,” he said in a nationally televised address from the capital, Ankara.
According to the state Health Ministry and the humanitarian organization White Helmets, there are at least 1,602 deaths in Syria. Thousands more people were hurt all over the nation. There are a lot of Syrian war refugees in Turkey's earthquake-stricken region.
Syria excluded from humanity
Due to the inhumane sanctions imposed on Syria, the country is being deprived of humanitarian aid. At a time that calls for unity, Western nations turned away from Syria.
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In these defining moments and amid this humanitarian catastrophe, it was expected that all political rifts and rivalries would be brought aside for a short while at least, mainly because the destructive event has directly affected civilians.
Following the earthquakes, several Western countries mobilized rapidly to send aid and rescue workers to Turkey but decided to exclude Syria and neglect it, by only offering condolences and merely expressing readiness to support the affected Syrians, with nothing done on the ground, in a clear act of hypocrisy and double standards.