Turkey-Syria updates: Earthquake death toll surpasses 45,000

Recent Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Reuters Reports 300km Rupture Through Earth’s Surface

According to Reuters news agency, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and northern Syria on February 6th, with subsequent aftershocks. The earthquake caused the ground to crack open and move in different directions along a 300km rupture. The land on either side of the ruptures moved in opposite directions, settling up to 7 metres (23 ft) from its starting point in some locations. This displacement of land has caused extensive damage to infrastructure, buildings, and homes in the affected areas. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that hospitals in the region are “absolutely overloaded,” with patients suffering from trauma, broken bones, and lacerations.

Data provided by Chris Milliner of the California Institute of Technology shows that the main quake had a long rupture with displacements of up to 7 metres (23 ft). The shorter rupture from the 7.5-magnitude aftershock saw land displaced up to 5 metres (16 ft) in places. This has led to widespread destruction, leaving many families displaced and in urgent need of aid. Mozaic is working to provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the earthquakes, including food, blankets, clean water, and medical care.

The earthquake has had a devastating impact on children, particularly those who have already experienced trauma due to war. Angela Kearney, UNICEF representative in Aleppo, described the scene in Aleppo as children who were already traumatized by war being “bewildered” and not knowing what was happening. Kearney said that while aid is starting to go into the affected areas, there is still a great need for blankets, food, clean water, medical care, and nutritional care.

Bodies of more than 1,500 Syrians repatriated from Turkey

According to an official at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, at least 1,522 bodies have been brought back to Syria for burial. In addition, 1,795 Syrian earthquake survivors have already crossed back into Syria from Turkey on Wednesday, the first day after Turkey agreed to allow refugees affected by the earthquake to return temporarily without losing their protected status in Turkey.

Photo from Aljazeera.com

This decision is a significant relief for those holding Turkish temporary protection cards residing in the earthquake-damaged areas, allowing them to cross into Syria without needing to obtain a travel permit from Turkish authorities. In the past, Turkey has considered Syrians holding protected status who crossed into Syria without a permit to have relinquished their status as asylum seekers, thereby preventing them from re-entering Turkey for five years. However, this time, Turkey has made an exception to ensure that those affected by the earthquake are able to return home without any legal hindrances.

Official Reports: Turkey’s Efforts to Reunite Children Separated From Families After Earthquakes

Photo from Aljazeera.com

Turkey’s Vice President, Fuat Oktay, announced that 1,589 children who were separated from their families during the deadly earthquakes in the country are being cared for by the state, with 247 still not yet identified. The Vice President confirmed that 953 children have been reunited with their families so far. Hatay province has the largest number of sites where search and rescue teams are working, with fewer than 200 sites being covered by these teams. Despite this, rescue teams in Hatay managed to find a 45-year-old man alive on Friday, 278 hours after he was buried under rubble.

How we are helping?

We at Mozaic are excited to announce that our monetary earthquake fund will be donating $77,000 to the White Helmets and $28,500 to MedGlobal. These two organizations are working tirelessly in the northwest region of Syria where aid is scarce. We will be sure to announce the completion of these transactions on our social media platforms as soon as possible. We are still accepting donations to our cause and invite you to contribute to our efforts to support those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Please share our donation link to spread the word.