Earthquake death toll exceeds 8,700, rescue efforts continue
The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Syria and Turkey has exceeds 8,700, with the number expected to increase.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay announced early on Wednesday morning that the death toll of the devastating earthquake has reached 5,894. He further noted that the number of wounded in expected to be around 34,810 and growing. As for the rescued, the number has exceeded 8,000 people.
Turkey's disaster authorities would later announce that the death toll has risen to 6,234
"The loss of every citizen deeply saddens us," Oktay told reporters during a news conference, he then added that efforts continue to be underway as more people remain under the rubble.
According to the VP, approximately 5,775 buildings collapsed in Turkey.
As for Syria, the death toll has almost reached 2,470 people, which brings the total number of deaths from the earthquake in both countries to more than 8,700 people. As for the casualties in Syria, the number has exceeded 4,000 according to Al Mayadeen's correspondent
What happened so far
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday was one of the deadliest natural disasters to strike the region 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.
In a related context, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey declared on Tuesday 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.
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.
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 show of double standards.
Read more: Western selective humanitarianism, Syria earthquake falls on deaf ears