Deadly Earthquake Hits Turkey and Syria, Leaving Behind Devastation and Loss of Life
A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck southern Turkey close to the Syrian border on Monday, causing widespread damage and loss of life. The quake was felt across several countries including Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. As per reports, over 641 individuals have lost their lives and numerous others have been injured. In the border area, numerous buildings have crumbled, causing families to flee in the dark and rain amidst the debris.
The earthquake has had a particularly destructive impact on northern Syria, which has already been severely affected by the country’s ten-year civil war. The region is home to millions of refugees and 4.1 million people in the area are in need of humanitarian aid. The region’s hospitals have been extensively damaged during the conflict, with many being targeted by airstrikes from the Syrian regime or its ally Russia. To protect medical facilities from attacks, medical professionals and aid organizations have established subterranean medical facilities.
Raed Saleh, the head of the White Helmets civil defense group, describes the situation in northern Syria as “disastrous” and “tragic.” He states that buildings have fallen in cities and villages throughout northern Syria, and teams are working to help those who are trapped under the rubble. Hamid Qutayni, a rescue worker with the White Helmets, reports that there are “tens of families” who are trapped under fallen buildings. The Union Of Medical Care And Relief Organizations (UOSSM) has reported 91 fatalities and has treated over 500 severely injured earthquake victims, with four of its hospitals being damaged and evacuated.
The earthquake has exacerbated the already dire situation in Syria. Jomah al Qassim, a Syrian living in Gaziantep, Turkey and working for the charity Bahar Organisation, says that there have been numerous casualties and damage to buildings in Syria and that the people are already exhausted from the ongoing crisis.
To sum up, the earthquake has had a catastrophic impact on the already delicate situation in northern Syria, resulting in widespread destruction, death, and injury. The region is desperately in need of humanitarian aid and medical support, and the earthquake has only added to the already depleted state of the area.