Earthquake death toll across Turkey-Syria crosses 34,000. The death toll from earthquakes in Turkey and northwestern Syria has surpassed 34,000, according to CNN On Sunday, it had at least 34,179 views (local time). Turkey’s death toll has risen to 29,605, according to the Turkish Emergency Coordination Center SAKOM.
Syria has 4,574 confirmed deaths. According to the Salvation Government governance authority’s health ministry, this number includes more than 3,160 in opposition-held parts of northwestern Syria.According to the state news agency SANA, the Syrian death toll also includes 1,414 deaths in government-controlled areas of the country.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it is waiting for final approval to send cross-border deliveries into northwest Syria, where rebel groups control territory and aid deliveries have been hampered, according to CNN. The WHO hopes that its Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will soon be able to travel into the rebel-held areas affected by the devastating earthquake, the organization said on Sunday.
Tedros and a team of top WHO officials arrived in Aleppo on a humanitarian aid flight carrying over USD 290,000 in trauma emergency and surgical kits on Saturday. According to CNN, Rick Brennan, the WHO’s regional emergency director, stated in a media briefing from Damascus on Sunday that there have been “no crossline deliveries” into northwest Syria since the earthquake struck last Monday.
“We have one coming up in a couple of days. “We are still negotiating for that to happen,” Brennan said, adding that the WHO was “planning a significant expansion of our crossline work” prior to the earthquake. According to Brennan, the WHO has the approval of the Syrian government in Damascus but is awaiting “approval… from entities on the other side.” “We are working very hard to negotiate that access,” Brennan said.
According to CNN, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths tweeted on Sunday that “trucks with UN relief are rolling into north-west Syria,” posting pictures of trucks being loaded for cross-border deliveries. Although he was “encouraged by the scale-up of convoys from the UN trans shipment center at the Turkish border,” the aid chief emphasized the need to “open more access points” to get aid out faster.
Raed Al Saleh, the head of the volunteer organization White Helmets, echoed this call in a tweet on Sunday. Al Saleh stated that after meeting with Griffiths on the Turkish-Syrian border on Sunday, his group appreciated Griffiths’ “apology for the shortcomings and mistakes” made. According to CNN, he urged the UN to act immediately outside of the Security Council to “open three crossings for emergency aid” to northwest Syria. Meanwhile, a week after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, rescue teams are rushing to save victims who may still be alive beneath the rubble, with a UN liaison officer in Turkey warning that they are “approaching the end of the search and rescue window.”
Syrian-American actor Jay Abdo told CNN on Saturday that civilians were “racing against time” to save loved ones while urging the international community to “act immediately” in providing humanitarian aid to Syria. Even days after the quake, there have been miraculous scenes of survival and rescue in the midst of tragedy. After 147 hours under the rubble, a 10-year-old girl was rescued, the latest in a series of harrowing success stories as workers in Turkey continue to search for survivors.
According to the Istanbul mayor, a teenage girl named Ayse (Reem Khaled Naasani) was rescued in Hatay on Sunday, 162 hours after the earthquake. According to Turkish state broadcaster TRT, a 50-year-old woman named Guler Agritmis was also rescued on Sunday after spending days under the rubble. According to Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Sunday, a two-month-old baby was rescued in Turkey’s Hatay province 108 hours after the deadly earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday.
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