Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Death Toll Nears 40,000, UN Calls for Donations

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Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Death toll nears 40,000, UN calls for donations

SOLIDARITY: Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, asks member states to provide “without delay” aid of 400 million dollars

A global call for solidarity. The United Nations has launched an appeal for donations to meet the “tremendous needs” of millions of people deprived of shelter, food and care after the earthquake, whose death toll in Turkey and Syria approached 40,000 on Wednesday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged all member states to provide nearly $400 million “without delay” to guarantee “the humanitarian aid that nearly five million Syrians desperately need”, starting with shelter, medical care, food” for three months. He said there should soon be a similar call for Turkey.

“Worst natural disaster” for a century in Europe, according to the WHO

“The needs are immense” and “we all know that life-saving aid does not come in at the speed and scale necessary”, insisted the Secretary-General. “A week after the devastating earthquakes, millions of people across the region are struggling to survive, homeless and facing freezing temperatures,” he added.

As of Tuesday evening, the death toll from the earthquake stood at 39,106. On Sunday, the UN said it expected those numbers to increase significantly. “We are witnessing the worst natural disaster in the WHO Europe region in a century and we are still measuring its magnitude,” said an official from the World Health Organization.

A rare cause of consolation for rescuers, four people were still able to be extracted alive from the rubble on Tuesday in Turkey. Like this couple of Syrians in Antakya, Antioch of Antiquity, one of the Turkish cities which suffered the most from the earthquake, who exclaimed “Allahu akbar! (“Allah is the greatest”!) once saved, about 210 hours after the earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on February 6, testified an AFP photographer.

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