ANKARA (Turkey): Another earthquake of magnitude 5.4 jolted eastern Turkey on Tuesday, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The fifth earthquake was reported around 12:41 pm (local time) at a depth of 6.8 km at the location 38.116°N 38.669°E, added the USGS.
At least 4,940 deaths have now been confirmed in Turkey and Syria after a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked the region early on Monday, reported CNN.
Turkey’s death toll rose to at least 3,381 as of around 9:45 am local time on Tuesday, Orhan Tatar, an official with the country’s disaster management agency, said in a televised briefing, while in Syria, the death toll has risen to 1,559 across areas controlled by the government and by the opposition, officials said.
At least 20,426 injuries have also been reported in Turkey, according to Tatar, while in Syria, at least 3,648 people have also been reported injured in Syria, according to officials, reported CNN. So far, 11,000 buildings have been reported damaged in Turkey, he said.
Nearly 25,000 emergency responders are working at scenes impacted, Tatar added. Rescuers are using at least 10 ships and 54 aircraft to transport the wounded and help with search operations, he said.
The quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years, struck 23 km (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 km (14.9 miles), the US Geological Survey said. At least 100 aftershocks, measuring 4.0 or more, have occurred since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday morning local time, according to the United States Geological Survey.
As the time from the original earthquake extends, the frequency and magnitude of the aftershocks tend to decrease. However, 5.0 to 6.0-plus aftershocks are still likely to occur and bring a risk of additional damage to structures that are compromised from the original earthquake. This brings a continued threat to rescue teams and survivors.
Meanwhile, two Israeli aid groups have chartered a flight to Gaziantep on Tuesday to bring personnel and equipment to victims of the earthquake in Turkey, reported CNN. United Hatzalah, an Israeli volunteer emergency medical service, chartered the flight on El Al Airlines alongside aid group IsraAid, United Hatzalah spokesperson Raphael Poch said.
Ten search and rescue specialists, a water expert, and more than a dozen doctors, paramedics and mental health specialists will be on board the flight, according to Poch and IsraAid spokesperson Shachar May. The groups said they will also be bringing “several tons” of humanitarian aid in the form of bedding, tents, warm clothing, food, water filters, hygiene kits and resilience kits.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will also be travelling to Ankara on Wednesday to offer his support following the devastating earthquake, reported CNN. In a statement Tuesday, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said Sharif will “express condolences and solidarity with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the people of Turkey over the loss of precious lives and destruction caused by yesterday’s deadly earthquake.” Pakistan has also deployed two search and rescue teams to Turkey.
Hundreds of families remain trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in northwest Syria following Monday’s powerful earthquake, according to the White Helmets, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense. More than 790 victims have been confirmed dead in rebel-held parts of northwest Syria, and more than 2,200 injured, the White Helmets said on Twitter.
However, “the numbers are expected to rise significantly because hundreds of families are still under the rubble,” the group said. More than 210 buildings were destroyed by the quake in northwest Syria, the group added.
Thousands of buildings collapsed in both countries and aid agencies are particularly worried about north-western Syria, where more than four million people were already relying on humanitarian assistance, reported CNN. Syria, already suffering the effects of civil war, is facing widespread devastation from the quake. More than 1,500 fatalities and 3,600 wounded have been reported across the country, according to officials.
Some four million people in northern Syria were already displaced and relying on humanitarian support as a result of war, a UNICEF spokesman said earlier. Among major concerns now are a lack of access to shelter and safe drinking water amid freezing weather conditions and the risk of diseases such as cholera spreading. (ANI)