Earthquake death toll in Syria tops 5,800; debris removal continues
The death toll from the devastating earthquake that struck northern Syria keeps rising, while debris removal operations and relief efforts continue in affected areas.
The death toll from the devastating earthquake that struck northern Syria has risen on Tuesday to more than 5,801, and the number of injured has reached 7,396 so far.
Rescue operations continue in the Syrian governorates affected by the earthquake, while relief operations have stopped in a number of areas.
The authorities in the Syrian governorate of Hama have counted 48 victims and more than 70 injured.
The Syrian Directorate of Antiquities and Museums closed the ancient Marqab Castle in Banias temporarily, due to the cracks that appeared on it as a result of the earthquake.
Visits to the castle have been suspended in order to ensure the safety of visitors, pending the completion of the survey teams’ work, the Director General of Antiquities and Museums, Nazeer Awad, stated in a call with Al Mayadeen.
It is noteworthy that the preliminary statistics of the damage indicate that the earthquake led to the complete destruction of about 103 buildings, while 247 others are about to fall.
The safety committees evacuated dozens of homes from their residents for safety purposes, until the final evaluation report is issued and the condition of the houses is ascertained.
According to the safety committees, which include engineers from the Engineers Syndicate, the General Company for Engineering Studies, and city councils, 70% of the reported buildings have been assessed. The rest of the houses will also be completed within 48 hours, while citizens' requests are still being received through the district mayors.
مسؤول إحصاء الأبنية المتضررة في #سوريا: منذ حصول الزلزال تم تأليف لجان من قبل نقابة المهندسين للكشف عن الأضرار.#زلزال_شرق_المتوسط #زلزال_سوريا_وتركيا #زلزال_سوريا pic.twitter.com/K4Y8UDRHFW— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) February 14, 2023
This comes at a time when aid continues to arrive in Syria. The first Saudi aid plane landed Tuesday at Aleppo International Airport, carrying food assistance and the Director of Medical Services at the Saudi Red Crescent Organization.
The director of the Joint Efforts Team for Relief of the Earthquake Victims in Saudi Arabia announced that the Saudi plane is the first in a series of planes, pointing out that another plane will arrive tomorrow, and a third one will arrive the day after tomorrow.
"Other planes will be sent if need be," the director confirmed.
An Emirati relief plane also landed this morning at Aleppo Airport. Another plane arrived at dawn today, in addition to 4 planes that landed on Monday at Damascus International Airport.
Aid planes also landed in various airports in Syria, coming from China, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Kazakhstan, and Russia's Chechnya.
after the shock— Fady (@Moon____Life) February 10, 2023
Skeletons of houses
Meanwhile, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday arrived in Syria to tour some hospitals of the city along with the Syrian Health Minister and Aleppo Governor, the report said.
Regarding the destruction Ghebreyesus witnessed, he posted a video in a tweet, saying has "never seen" such level of damage in his life before and described the scene as "Skeletons of houses."
The video, filmed from inside a car while Ghebreyesus was touring the affected areas, showed great damage to residential buildings and streets.
I've never in my life seen the level of destruction as I did on the road from Aleppo to Damascus. Skeletons of houses. Almost no people in sight. Over a decade of war has taken an unimaginable toll. Syrians need our support now and in years to come to rebuild their lives. pic.twitter.com/Ym2zmDixdw— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 14, 2023
Clashes between armed groups in Idlib countryside looking to seize aids
Simultaneously, Al Mayadeen correspondent reported that clashes broke out between the National Front factions and Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham in Idlib countryside due to a dispute over seizing aid for those affected by the earthquake.
"اشتباكات بين الجماعات المسلحة في ريف إدلب بسبب الخلاف على الاستيلاء على المساعدات المقدمة لمتضرري الزلزال"#زلزال_شرق_المتوسط #زلزال_سوريا_وتركيا #زلزال_سوريا @rh_albasha pic.twitter.com/6TW0Q8KlLa— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) February 14, 2023
Our correspondent pointed out that a UN delegation entered the Bab al-Hawa crossing, north of Idlib, towards the areas affected by the earthquake, pointing out that "the foreign militants present in Idlib countryside prevented the opening of the Saraqeb crossing for aid to reach the earthquake-affected people."
Syria opened yesterday the Saraqeb and Abu Zeydin checkpoints from one side to deliver aid.
Also, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad met with United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths on Monday and emphasized "the need for urgent aid to enter all areas in Syria, including areas under occupation and under the control of armed terrorist groups."