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The death toll in the earthquake in Turkey and Syria exceeded 50,000

The death toll in the earthquake in Turkey and Syria exceeded 50,000


The death toll from the devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey and neighboring Syria on February 6 has passed the 50,000 mark.

While Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority reported 44,218 deaths on Friday night, Syria announced the death toll at 5,914, bringing the total death toll in the two countries to more than 50,000.

Meanwhile, Ankara has accelerated construction work, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to rebuild the homes within a year.

However, experts are concerned about the pace of construction saying authorities must put safety before speed. Reuters news agency reported that some buildings that were supposed to withstand earthquakes collapsed in recent earthquakes.

An estimated 1,60,000 buildings containing 5,20,000 apartments collapsed in the 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Turkey.

Erdogan said that the Turkish government aims to build 200,000 apartments and 70,000 village houses at a cost of at least $15 billion. But US bank JPMorgan estimates the rebuilding costs to reach $25 billion.

View WION | Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Stories of Hope and Despair

According to the United Nations Development Programme, at least 1.5 million people have been rendered homeless, adding that 5,00,000 new homes are needed.

The UN agency said it had requested $113.5 million of the $1 billion appealed by the United Nations last week, adding that it would focus these funds on removing mountains of rubble.

Meanwhile, the survivors who left Turkey’s southern region were housed in tents, container homes and other government-sponsored accommodation.

“The glassware was very beautiful, more than usual, but then (the earthquake) happened and everything was destroyed,” Saeed Suleiman Ertoglu, 56, a resident of Antakya, told Reuters. He estimated that only 5 percent of his goods survived.

He said, “What can we do?” “This is God’s work, and God’s will always brings gifts.”

(With inputs from agencies)




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