Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria More than 35000 dead the

Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: More than 35,000 dead, the number could “double”, warns the UN

Rescuers pulled a baby and a teenage girl alive from the rubble before dawn on Sunday, almost a week after the powerful earthquake that killed more than 35,000 people in Turkey and Syria but said the number is “doubling” according to the UN could.

A persistent nightmare. According to the latest official figures, the magnitude 7.8 earthquake killed at least 35,225 people: 31,643 in Turkey and 3,582 in Syria. And it could double, according to UN experts.

In fact, while visiting Kahramanmaras in Turkey, the head of the UN agency, Martin Griffiths, told the British 24-hour news channel Sky News that the toll will “double or more”. “We haven’t really started counting the death toll yet,” he said. He added that “responsibility for search and rescue will soon give way to humanitarian organizations tasked with caring for the extraordinary number of victims over the coming months.”

Nearly 32,000 people are being mobilized for search and rescue operations in Turkey, as well as more than 8,000 foreign rescuers, according to Turkey’s agency in charge of natural disasters. Also, for the first time in 35 years, a border crossing between Turkey and Armenia was opened to allow the arrival of humanitarian aid.

5 million people at risk

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 26 million people in Turkey and Syria may be affected, including “around five million vulnerable people” and launched an urgent appeal for fundraising on Saturday. But when international aid flows to Turkey, access to wartime Syria, whose regime is under international sanctions, proves more complicated.

Humanitarian organizations are particularly concerned about the spread of cholera, which has resurfaced in Syria. The Syrian government on Friday authorized “the delivery of humanitarian aid to the entire country” – including rebel-held areas – where 5.3 million people are at risk of being left homeless. Damascus said the distribution of aid “should be overseen by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent,” with support from the UN.