Black ribbon displayed at Istanbul airport to mourn earthquake victims

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ISTANBUL: A black ribbon was displayed on the electronic board of Istanbul airport in solidarity with Turkey and Syria as the two nations continue their dead from the devastating earthquakes.

More than 21,000 people have died in Turkey and Syria after magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes struck on Monday, and rescue workers are racing against time to pull survivors from the rubble of collapsed buildings in harsh winter conditions.

In the arrival area of Istanbul airport, the electric board is seen with the black ribbon with the message, “Earthquake hit Turkey on February 6.”

“Get Well Soon Turkey,” was also written on one of the electric boards.

In Turkey, over 18,991 people were killed. Calling the earthquake ‘one of the biggest disasters’, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking in the quake-hit Adiyaman province, said, “We are facing ‘one of the biggest disasters’ in our history.”

Erdogan vowed to rebuild quake-hit southern region as part of a one-year plan.

A three-month state of emergency to speed up rescue and aid efforts in Turkey’s earthquake-hit provinces came into effect on Thursday after the approval of lawmakers, Anadolu Agency reported.

On Tuesday, the Turkish President announced the three-month state of emergency to speed up search and rescue efforts in the quake-hit provinces, as per the news report.

Earthquakes of magnitudes 7.7 and 7.6, centred in the province of Kahramanmaras, were felt by 13 million people across 10 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa, as per the news report.

Turkey’s neighbouring countries, including Syria and Lebanon, were also jolted by tremors.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday said 75 countries and 16 international organisations have pledged aid to Turkey after the earthquakes, CNN reported. He said 6,479 rescue personnel from 56 countries are on the field, digging through the rubble in a desperate search for survivors. He stated that teams from 19 nations will be in the United States within 24 hours.

“Teams from 19 more countries will be in our country within 24 hours,” CNN quoted Cavusoglu as saying.

Global aid has been pouring into Turkey after Monday’s disaster, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people and injured over 70,000 more in the country and neighbouring Syria.

India is assisting Turkey in the ongoing rescue effort due to the crisis that has arisen after earthquakes rattled the nation. (ANI)

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