A Syrian boy walks amid the rubble of his family home in Jindayris A Syrian boy walks amid the rubble of his family home in Jindayris  (AFP or licensors)

Earthquake: focus shifts from search and rescue to humanitarian situation

As the chance of finding survivors amongst the rubble in Syria and Turkey dwindles, the focus shifts to providing humanitarian aid.

By Nathan Morley

The death tally from Monday’s deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria now stands at 35,000.

As search and rescue teams begin to downscale their work, the focus is now turning to the humanitarian situation.

Bitterly cold conditions are further reducing the window for survival with temperatures in the region falling to minus 6 degrees Celsius overnight.

More than 158,000 people have been evacuated from the quake-hit regions.

Regarding the situation in Syria, UN’s head of emergency relief, Martin Griffiths, acknowledged that humanitarian efforts to the country were inadequate. Providing aid to survivors of Monday’s earthquake in Syria has been a challenge, as only one of the four original border crossings into Syria is presently open.

“We have so far failed the people in north-west Syria. They rightly feel abandoned, looking for international help that hasn’t arrived” Griffiths said. “My duty and our obligation is to correct this failure as fast as we can. That’s my focus now”.

Several aid groups have already warned that the earthquakes could exacerbate a cholera outbreak in Syria.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report

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13 February 2023, 14:38