More than 33,000 dead in earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

The list of dead continues to grow. The toll of the violent earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday rises to 33,179 dead on Sunday, according to the latest official reports. The 7.8-magnitude quake, followed by a second earthquake barely less powerful, killed 29,605 people in southern Turkey, the Turkish public disaster management agency Afad announced on Sunday, while authorities have counted 3,574 dead in Syria. According to the UN, the toll could “double”, especially in Syria where international relief is struggling to arrive.

A new UN convoy arrived in Syria on Sunday from Turkey, bringing much-awaited aid to Syrian victims of the earthquake. Ten trucks crossed the border at the Bab-al Hawa crossing point in north-western Syria, bringing emergency shelter materials such as plastic sheeting, blankets, mattresses, ropes and screws and nails, among others.

62 humanitarian aircraft

“Until now we have failed the people of northwestern Syria. They rightly feel abandoned,” said UN relief chief Martin Griffiths. We must now “correct this failure as soon as possible”, he adds in a tweet. According to an official of the Syrian Ministry of Transport, Suleiman Khalil, 62 planes loaded with aid have so far landed in the country and more are expected in the hours and days to come, notably from Saudi Arabia.

Access to Syria at war, whose regime is under international sanctions, is proving more complicated than for Turkey. Humanitarian organizations are particularly worried about the spread of cholera, which has reappeared in Syria. The Damascus government on Friday authorized “the delivery of humanitarian aid to the whole” of the country, including areas held by the rebels.

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