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Members from the Blue Sky Rescue Team, a Chinese civil relief squad, distribute food to local people in Malatya, Türkiye, Feb. 13, 2023.

Facts about Türkiye, Syria quake: Death toll tops 35,000, int’l aid continues

ANKARA/DAMASCUS (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest facts about quake-hit Türkiye and Syria.
The death toll from Monday’s earthquakes in Türkiye has climbed to 31,643, the country’s disaster agency was quoted by the Anadolu Agency on Monday as saying, bringing the total fatalities with neighboring Syria to more than 35,000 with tens of thousands injured.
The UN relief chief said in quake-hit Syria on Monday that as the UN relief efforts enter a humanitarian phase, the urgency is to cover such needs as shelter, food and schooling and that the plan now is to cover three months of humanitarian needs in Syria. Afghanistan’s Red Crescent Society donated 4.5 million afghanis (50,000 US dollars) in cash to help the quake-affected people in Türkiye, the state-run Bakhtar news agency reported Monday.
The first batches of relief supplies bound for Türkiye and financed by the Chinese government arrived in Istanbul on Feb. 11 and 12. More supplies provided by China, including electrocardiograph machines, ultrasonic diagnostics equipment, medical transport vehicles and manual hospital beds will be shipped this week. Rescue teams from China, including those dispatched by the Chinese government, have rescued over 10 survivors.
A research team from Wuhan University has provided remote sensing data from the earthquake-hit areas of Türkiye to the United Nations Satellite Centre to aid relief efforts.
Botswana’s Minister for State President Kabo Morwaeng on Monday visited the Turkish embassy in Botswana and extended condolences to the people of Türkiye.
Lack of needed medical and rescue equipment has limited the capabilities of the Syrian Red Crescent in its relief efforts in the earthquake-stricken areas of the country, said Mey al-Sayegh, spokeswoman of the Beirut-based regional office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Al-Sayegh said that the Syrian Red Crescent does not have sufficient equipment because of a devastating war in the country since 2011.
The current freezing weather in Syria and Türkiye constitutes another serious obstacle to relief efforts because of the earthquakes, she warned.
Commenting on the current US sanctions on Syria, al-Sayegh said the sanctions impede and delay the delivery of humanitarian aid to earthquake-hit Syria.

(Latest Update Februay 15, 2023)

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