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Turkey raises death toll from earthquakes to nearly 48,500

News 360 logo News 360 3/13/2023 Barbara O’Sullivan
Earthquake in Turkey - Celestino Arce / Zuma Press / Contactophoto © Provided by News 360 Earthquake in Turkey - Celestino Arce / Zuma Press / Contactophoto

Turkish authorities have raised to 48,448 the total death toll from the earthquakes that struck southern Turkey and northwestern Syria in early February, where the death toll stands at about 6,000.

According to Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, more than 1.5 million households have so far applied for financial aid to repair the damage - from minor to severe - to their homes, reports Anatolia news agency.

On the other hand, Soylu has estimated that more than 10,000 buildings were destroyed by the earthquake and are now waiting to be ''urgently demolished'' to avoid major disasters. So far, more than 36,000 buildings have been demolished.

With this new balance, the total death toll in Turkey and Syria is around 54,500 dead as a result of earthquakes that Turkish authorities have called ''the deadliest in the history'' of the country.

Since the disaster, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has on several occasions praised the ''superhuman effort'' made by the country's health personnel and emergency services, thanks to which Turkey has been able to launch ''unprecedented'' search efforts.

The earthquakes of February 6, which have been followed by more than 11,000 aftershocks, according to AFAD data, have also caused about 6,000 fatalities in Syria, although the number of victims in the Arab country is much more difficult to estimate, especially in the northwest, in the hands of rebel groups.



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