May 29, 2024

Live: Death toll from Turkey, Syria earthquakes tops 16,000

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The death toll from the catastrophic earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria rose to more than 16,000 on Thursday as more bodies were pulled from the rubble of collapsed homes in the stricken zone, Turkey’s disaster management agency said on Thursday. Follow FRANCE 24’s liveblog below for all the latest developments.

  • Officials and medics said 12,873 people had died in Turkey and 3,162 in Syria from Monday’s 7.8-magnitude tremor, bringing the confirmed total to 16,035.
  • More than 62,000 people were injured in Turkey, according to the country’s Disaster Management Authority. There were no official reports on the number of injured in Syria. 
  • Thousands of children may have been killed, according to UNICEF.
  • Monday’s quake, followed hours later by a second one almost as powerful, toppled thousands of buildings including hospitals, schools and apartment blocks, leaving thousands of people homeless.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces. During a visit to heavily affected southern Hatay province, the Turkish president acknowledged “shortcomings” after criticism of his government’s response to the disaster.
  • More than 12,000 Turkish search and rescue personnel are working in the affected areas, along with 9,000 troops.
  • More than 70 countries have offered rescue teams and other aid.
  • The UN says it’s “exploring all avenues” to get supplies to rebel-held northwestern Syria, and it has released $25 million from its emergency fund to help kick-start the humanitarian response in Turkey and Syria.

Twitter access restored in Turkey after talks

Access to Twitter in Turkey has been restored, the Netblocks internet observatory said on Thursday, following talks between the company and Turkish authorities about content posted after a major earthquake this week.

Access toTwitter was restrictedon Wednesday, sparking protests by political opposition figures, academics and activists, two days after the devastating quake hit the country and northern Syria.

“Metrics confirm access to Twitter is being restored in Turkey following hours of filtering,” NetBlocks said on its Twitter account.

Turkey’s Deputy Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said that in talks with Twitter management, he had reminded Twitter of its responsibilities and had conveyed expectation of cooperation on fighting disinformation as earthquake relief work continues.

“Our demands are clear, strong cooperation on disinformation and false reports, swift action against fake accounts and […] measures against content that could damage public order and security,” Sayan said on Twitter.

Taiwanese president to donate a month’s salary for Turkey relief efforts

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President William Lai will each donate a month’s salary for Turkish earthquake relief efforts, the presidential office said on Thursday, adding to existing aid already sent by the island.

Tsai and Lai, who is widely expected to stand for the presidency in elections due next year, “hope to do their part to help Turkey rebuild its homeland as soon as possible”, the presidential office said in a statement.

Turkey, like most countries, has no diplomatic relations with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, but the two maintain de facto embassies in each other’s capitals and there are direct flights between Istanbul and Taipei.

Death toll rises to over 16,000

The death toll from a huge earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria climbed to more than 16,000 on Thursday, as rescuers raced to reach survivors stuck under rubble in freezing weather.

Officials and medics said 12,873 people had died in Turkey and 3,162 in Syria from Monday’s 7.8-magnitude tremor, bringing the confirmed total to 16,035

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