Tragic Turkey-Syria Earthquake death toll to more than double, says UNFebruary 11, 2023
Tragic Turkey-Syria Earthquake death toll to more than double, says UN
The United Nations emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, has warned that the death toll from the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria is likely to “more than double.” At least 24,596 people have been confirmed dead after the disaster, but Griffiths expects tens of thousands more casualties to be reported.
72-hour period expired, but rescues still underway
According to Griffiths, the 72-hour period after a disaster, which is usually the “golden period” for rescues, has now expired. However, rescuers are still pulling survivors out of the rubble. The relief coordinator said that it must be incredibly difficult to decide when to stop the rescue phase.
UN launches three-month operation to help pay for relief efforts
Griffiths has announced that he is launching a three-month operation for Turkey and Syria to help pay for the costs of relief operations. He also told Reuters that he hopes aid will go to both government and opposition-held areas in Syria, but the situation is not clear yet.
UN calls for “solidarity” in relief efforts
The spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, Stéphane Dujarric, has called for “solidarity” in the relief effort and for all politics to be put aside. He stressed that the UN is working with the authorities in charge, whether in rebel-held territories or government-held areas. Dujarric emphasized that the UN stands with the people of Syria and that the focus should be on the men, women, and children who desperately need help.
In response to criticism of the UN’s response to the urgent need in Syria after the earthquake, Dujarric acknowledged that aid never comes quickly enough and that people in the middle of devastation would be unhappy and critical. He added that the UN stands with the people of Syria, regardless of whether they live in rebel or government-held territories.
The recent Turkey-Syria earthquake has caused immense destruction and loss of life. It is a stark reminder of the power of nature and the importance of coming together to help those in need. The UN’s efforts to provide relief and support to those affected by the disaster are commendable, and we should all show solidarity in this time of need.