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As it happenedended1676067782

Turkey-Syria earthquake- latest: Desperation grips Syria as food supplies start to run out

Death toll passes 21,000 as hundreds still trapped under mountains of rubble

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar,Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Friday 10 February 2023 22:23 GMT
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Syria earthquake: Child pulled from rubble of collapsed building

Reeling from the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, Syrians are now facing starvation as food stocks are beginning to run out in the northwest of the country.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday it was running out of stocks and called to open more border crossings from Turkey after both countries were ravaged by the natural disaster.

“Northwest Syria, where 90 per cent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance, is a big concern. We have reached the people there, but we need to replenish our stocks,” Corinne Fleischer, WFP Regional Director in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe, told reporters.

“We are running out of stocks and we need access to bring new stocks in. The border crossing is open now, but we need to get new border crossings open.”

The Independent is asking readers to donate to its appeal, with all funds raised going to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together leading UK aid charities to help with the search and rescue effort and provide vital medicines, clean water and temporary accommodation for survivors.

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Desperation in Syria as World Food Programme says it is running out of stocks in the northwest

The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday it was running out of stocks in northwest Syria and called to open more border crossings from Turkey after both countries were ravaged by earthquakes.

“Northwest Syria, where 90 per cent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance, is a big concern. We have reached the people there, but we need to replenish our stocks,” Corinne Fleischer, WFP Regional Director in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe, told reporters.

“We are running out of stocks and we need access to bring new stocks in. The border crossing is open now, but we need to get new border crossings open.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 February 2023 10:11
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World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation has put forward the importance for humanitarian organisations to act quickly.

Robert Holden, incident response manager, said many are surviving “out in the open, in worsening and horrific conditions”.

“We are in real danger of seeing a secondary disaster which may cause harm to more people than the initial disaster if we don’t move with the same pace and intensity as we are doing on the search and rescue side,” he added. “People need the basic elements to survive the next period.”

William Mata9 February 2023 10:55
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Full story

A series of earthquakes and aftershocks striking the border between southeast Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday have caused immense devastation.

Two major quakes measuring magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5 respectively shook the two countries on Monday, with hundreds of powerful aftershocks following.

As the rescue operation enters its fourth day, the true extent of the damage is still unravelling.

William Mata9 February 2023 13:44
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Earthquake flattens swathe of towns and cities in Turkey - Seven Italians among dead

Hundreds of buildings across Turkey and Syria collapsed during the earthquake (PA Media)

Turkey is grappling with one of the biggest challenges from the earthquake that flattened a swathe of its towns and cities: how to shelter hundreds of thousands of people left homeless in the middle of winter.

Banks of tents are being erected in stadiums and shattered city centres, and Mediterranean and Aegean beach resorts outside the quake zone that use the winter months to prepare for summer tourism are opening up hotel rooms for evacuees.

But with some 6,500 buildings collapsed and countless more buildings damaged, hundreds of thousands of people lack safe housing.

- Seven Italians are missing following this week's deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said at a news conference on Thursday.

William Mata9 February 2023 13:48
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Plea for Britons to send money directly to relatives in Turkey

A Briton who lives in Turkey has pleaded with people in the UK to send money directly to people they know in the earthquake-hit country, saying of survivors “they can't wait a week, they're sleeping in their cars”.

The death toll from the earthquake and its aftershocks in Turkey and Syria now exceeds 16,000, with tens of thousands of people thought to have lost their homes and around 60,000 injured.

Debs Handy, 59, moved to Turkey in 2020 from the UK having previously lived in Chichester.

Now living in Calis, Fethiye, in south-west Turkey, with her husband, she and other expats have been gathering donations for people who work in Fethiye's hospitality industry who have family in areas impacted by the earthquake.

“Everyone's going through their wardrobes, they're going through anything they have spare,” Ms Handy said.

William Mata9 February 2023 14:16
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France pledges €12 million in emergency post-earthquake aid to Syria

France has pledged €12 million in emergency post-earthquake aid to Syria.

Soreign ministry spokesman François Delmas has said the aid to be disbursed “through non-governmental organisations and the United Nations in all regions affected”.

Mr Delmas said this would include €5 million towards a UN fund providing cross-border aid to northwest Syria and another €5 million for “several French and international NGOs working on emergency responses in the health, shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation sectors”.

The final €2 million is “under review” but could be spent on urgent food aid.

William Mata9 February 2023 14:17
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Death total now 19,300 - beyond Fukushima disaster

Deaths from earthquake in Turkey and Syria exceed 19,300, surpassing toll from Japan's Fukushima disaster.

In Turkey, the number has now risen to 16,170 with 60,000 injured.

The death toll in Syria is now 3,192 and around 5,000 are said to be injured.

William Mata9 February 2023 14:24
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Survivors struggle to keep warm

Turks try to stay warm with fire (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Thousands who lost their homes in a catastrophic earthquake huddled around campfires and clamored for food and water in the bitter cold, three days after the temblor and series of aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria, killing more than 19,300.

Rescuers continued their race to pull more people alive from the rubble, with the window closing to find trapped survivors. While stories of miraculous rescues briefly buoyed spirits, the grim reality of the hardship facing tens of thousands who survived the disaster cast a pall.

The number of deaths has surpassed the toll in a 2011 earthquake off Japan that triggered a tsunami, killing more than 18,400 people.

William Mata9 February 2023 14:31
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Anger over, now reversed, decision to block Twitter

Turkey's decision to block access to Twitter for about 12 hours from Wednesday afternoon to early Thursday as people scrambled to find loved ones after devastating earthquakes has compounded public frustration at the pace of relief efforts.

Opposition leaders and social media users criticised the throttling of the platform, which has helped people share information on arriving aid and the location of those still trapped in rubble after the initial tremor on Monday.

President Tayyip Erdogan's government has blocked social media in the past and focused in recent months on fighting what it calls "disinformation", which it said prompted the block on Wednesday.

It restored full access to Twitter early on Thursday as the quake's death toll in Turkey and neighbouring Syria shot past 17,000.

William Mata9 February 2023 14:35
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Syria situation ‘harder and more complicated’ - Cleverly

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (PA Wire)

Britain will continue to work with the United Nations and others to support Turkey and Syria following earthquakes there, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Thursday, describing the situation in Syria as "considerably harder”.

"We will continue working with the Turkish authorities to find out what more they need, and we will continue coordinating through the United Nations and the White Helmets civil force in Syria," he told a joint news conference in Rome.

"Of course, the situation in Syria, for obvious reasons, is considerably harder and more complicated, but nevertheless, there are lives that need to be saved."

William Mata9 February 2023 14:55

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