Rescuers find last quake victim; death toll hits at least 41


The death toll from a powerful earthquake in eastern Turkey has risen to 41, the country’s disaster relief agency said on Jan. 27.

The 6.8-magnitude quake shook eastern Elazığ province late on Jan. 24. Tremors were also felt in neighboring countries including Syria and Georgia.

Out of 1,607 injured people, 1,523 have been discharged from the hospital, while 45 people who were trapped under the debris of houses and buildings were rescued, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

A total of 948 aftershocks were felt, it added.

AFAD said rescue work continues in the region with more than 3,829 personnel, 568 vehicles and 22 sniffer dogs.

The last body trapped under the debris was recovered, Mehmet Güllüoğlu, head of the AFAD, said in a tweet.

Earlier on Jan. 25, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the region and attended the funeral of two victims.

“We have borne many earthquakes but the nation has risen above them patiently,” said Erdoğan, asking citizens to exercise strength in their weakest hour.

Erdoğan also stressed that the state has been running to the needs of its citizens with all its institutions and facilities since the earthquake.

“Turkey is healing the wounds of this great disaster in unity, togetherness and solidarity,” he told reporters on Jan. 26 before departing for Algeria.

Reminding that the interior, health, environment, and urbanization ministers immediately went to the region to supervise the works, Erdoğan said, “All kinds of personnel, tools, equipment, and equipment needed were delivered to the earthquake area in a very short time. All necessary precautions regarding the food and the maintenance of our citizens were taken rapidly.”

Condolences continued to pour in to Turkey after at least 35 victims lost their lives and more than 1,500 others were injured in a powerful earthquake.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is deeply saddened by the loss of life and destruction to property in the wake of an earthquake in Elazığ province and said the UN expresses solidarity with Turkey and offered support.

“[Russian President] Vladimir Putin sent heartfelt condolences to President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the loss of life and large-scale destruction caused by an earthquake in the Elazığ province,” read a statement by Kremlin.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter: “My thoughts are with those who lost their lives and their families. We are in solidarity and ready to support.”

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences to the victims of the quake and offered her country’s support in the relief and rescue efforts.

Turkey has a history of powerful earthquakes. More than 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck the western city of Izmit, 90 km (55 miles) southeast of Istanbul. About 500,000 people were made homeless.

Hurriyet Daily News


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