Syria, Turkey quake death toll surpasses 50,000
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – More than 50,000 people have died as the result of the 7.8-magnitude devastating earthquake and its many aftershocks that rocked both Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6, according to the latest tally from the natural-disaster-hit countries.
Turkey’s disaster management agency, known as AFAD, on Friday night reported the country’s death toll at 44,218 while more than 80,000 others have been wounded.
War-torn Syria’s death toll rose to nearly 6,000 as of Friday night, which brings the total death toll in both countries to more than 50,000.
Previously, the United Nations warned that the death toll could surpass 50,000.
The search and rescue missions have nearly been completed in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently pledged to rebuild 200,000 apartments and 70,000 rural houses within a year.
While the Turkish government estimates the initial cost of the reconstruction at $15 billion, JP Morgan— a US bank—estimated the cost at $25 billion.
Critics have blamed poorly constructed buildings and failure in complying with building codes in Turkey for the mass destruction of structures.
Over 160,000 buildings have collapsed or been severely damaged by the earthquakes, whose aftershocks still rock the country from time to time.
A number of building contractors have since been detained by Turkish authorities, who initially dismissed the criticisms. Approximately 100 arrest warrants have been issued.
The Kurdistan Region was one of the early responders following the earthquakes and dispatched search and rescue teams, food assistance, and medical teams to the quake-stricken areas in both Turkey and Syria.
While the majority of the teams have returned home, a few teams both in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria have remained to continue relief efforts.