The devastating earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6 caused some 50,000 deaths, according to the latest provisional figures.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) stated that the death toll from the tremor in Turkey it amounted to 44,218 Friday night. And, with the recent balance of 5,914 dead in Syriathe combined number of fatalities in both countries exceeded 50,000.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) registered damage to 22 hospitals (fifteen in Turkey and seven in Syria). “We call on the international community to support this response and give hope to those who are now suffering, traumatized and with doubts about their future,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a news conference. And he said that the situation of vulnerability of the health network in Syria is especially serious, given that the area has suffered more than a decade of armed conflict between the Bashar al Assad regime and the rebels.
The initial earthquake registered on February 6 and the aftershocks that followed have affected in one way or another about 9 million people in Syria, according to UN estimates.
According to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, so far have been registered about 8,000 aftershocks from the first earthquakewhich had a magnitude of 7.4 on the open Richter scale.
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) warned that the earthquakes registered in the last two weeks will have a “disastrous impact” on the Syrian economy.
“The earthquake will have a disastrous impact on the already dire economic and social conditions caused by the ongoing conflict, the covid-19 pandemic and a series of droughts, among many other factors. Consequently, more and more people will be vulnerable, poor and displaced,” the commission warned in a statement.
The economic situation has seriously worsened in Syria in the last three years and even before the recent tragedy 90% of the population lived in poverty, in the midst of strong inflation accelerated by the war in Ukraine and the measures against Russia, the main ally of the Al Assad regime.
(With information from EFE and EuropaPress)
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