Death toll increases following new earthquake hits Turkey-Syria border

February 22, 2023: Six people were killed in an earthquake that struck the border area of Turkey and Syria, CNN Turk said, two weeks after a larger quake killed over 47,000 people, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of homes.

The earthquake, this time consisting of a magnitude of 6.4, was centred in the southern Turkish area of Antakya and was experienced in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. It has arrived at a depth of 10 km, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center stated.

CNN Turk showed a rescue team increasing a ladder to enter one building where a few people had been trapped during the latest tremor. It said the quake struck when people were in the damaged building to retrieve possessions before demolishing it.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 294 individuals were injured in Monday’s earthquake, with 18 seriously hurt and transported to Adana and Dortyol.

Patients were evacuated from a few health facilities that had remained in operation following the massive tremors two weeks ago, as the cracks had started in the buildings, Koca said on Twitter.

In Samandag, where the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, or AFAD, had reported one person passed away on Monday, residents said more buildings collapsed. Still, most of the town had already fled following the initial earthquakes. The debris and discarded furniture lined the dark streets that were abandoned.

Muna Al Omar stated she was in a tent in central Antakya when the roads started to be heavy again.

“The earth was going to split under my feet,” she said on Monday, weeping as she held her 7-year-old son in her hands.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on a visit to Turkey that Washington is helping “for as long as it takes” as the helping operations regarding the February 6 earthquake and its aftershocks wound down. The focus turned toward shelter and reconstruction work.

On Monday, the death toll from the quakes two weeks ago increased to 41,156 in Turkey, AFAD said. It was anticipated to increase further, with 385,000 apartments destroyed or seriously damaged and people still missing.

President Tayyip Erdogan stated that construction work on almost 200,000 apartments in 11 earthquake-reach provinces of Turkey would begin in the upcoming month.

Total U.S. humanitarian assistance helping the earthquake response in Turkey and Syria has hit $185 million, the U.S. State Department said.

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