Key post-earthquake developments in Turkey and Syria

ISTANBUL (AP) – As search and rescue efforts for buried survivors of the Feb. 6 earthquake in Turkey began to draw to a close, demolition teams have moved in to clear the piles of rubble left behind by the worst disaster in modern Turkish history.

Here’s a look at the key developments from Sunday after the earthquake.


The number of confirmed deaths in Turkey from the earthquake has risen to 40,689, said Yunus Sezer, head of the country’s disaster management agency AFAD. The increase was 47 more than the figure reported Saturday night and a much smaller increase than previous updates.

Sezer told journalists in Ankara that search and rescue work has ended in nine of the 11 provinces hit by the quake. Rescue operations are underway in Kahramanmaras, the site of the epicenter, and in Hatay, one of the hardest-hit provinces. “We continue this effort every day in the hope of reaching a living brother or sister,” he said.

As rescue operations continue across the two provinces, there has been no sign of anyone being dug out alive from the rubble since three members of a family – a mother, a father and a 12-year-old boy – were rescued from a collapsed building in Hatay were Saturday. The boy later died.

The new figure brings the combined death toll in Turkey and Syria to 44,377. The United Nations has said it may take time to determine the full extent of the deaths in Syria.


Turkey’s Disaster Management said that in the days after the first quake, about 6,040 aftershocks hit the 11 provinces that make up the government-declared disaster area.

The first tremor measured 7.8 magnitude, followed nine hours later by a 7.5 magnitude tremor.

Orhan Tatar, general manager of the AFAD agency, said 40 aftershocks were rated at 5 to 6, while one was recorded at 6.6.

“It is extremely important to stay away from and not enter damaged buildings,” he said at a televised press conference in Ankara.

He also warned of “secondary disasters” such as landslides and rockfalls.


Some 105,794 buildings inspected by Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urbanization are either destroyed or damaged to the point of demolition, the ministry said on Sunday.

Of these, 20,662 collapsed, the statement said. The damaged or destroyed buildings contained more than 384,500 units, mostly apartments.

Figures are for Turkey and do not cover collapsed and damaged buildings in neighboring Syria.


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