Death toll nears 48,000 in Feb 6 quakes

Death toll nears 48,000 in Feb 6 quakes

Death toll nears 48,000 in Feb 6 quakes

At least 47,975 people died in the Feb. 6 earthquakes that ripped through the country’s southern provinces and caused massive destruction, Türkiye’s Emergency and Disaster Management Presidency (AFAD) head Yunus Sezer has announced.

Two earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 in Türkiye’s south affected 11 southern provinces on Feb. 6, destroying thousands of houses, workplaces and historical structures.

Nearly 35 days after the quakes, the death toll has risen to 47,975, while 6,278 of them were Syrian refugees who previously migrated to Türkiye, Sezer stated at a press conference held at AFAD headquarters.

Reminding that aftershocks still continue in the region, Sezer pointed out that search and rescue personnel are still in the field in case buildings collapse during an aftershock.

“Our 3,954 search and rescue personnel in the region participated in both debris removal efforts and humanitarian relief activities. Earthquakes frequently occur in the region. We are keeping our search and rescue personnel here again as a ready force,” Sezer explained.

Providing information regarding the temporary shelter efforts, Sezer noted that there is still a need for tents, saying, “We still have not experienced a decrease in tent demands as we would like.”

“We are transferring a large part of the world’s tent stock to the region. Every day, six planes carry tents here from abroad. We also use all the production capacity in our own country. As of now, 414,323 tents have been set up, and we are trying to send and install about 10,000 tents in the region every day. We also have 332 tent cities,” he said.

Stating that their target is to reach 700,000 tents, Sezer noted that the number of quake survivors living in tents, containers and guesthouses in the quake zone is around 1.8 million.

Sezer said that a major evacuation effort has been carried out since the first day of the earthquake, adding that 935,722 earthquake victims were evacuated to our other provinces.

The AFAD head also requested the continuation of support for food and hygiene materials.

Orhan Tatar, another senior official from AFAD, stated that approximately 16,000 aftershocks have occurred so far, adding that there has been a decrease in the number of aftershocks in the last 10 days.

“There has been a slight decrease in the number of aftershocks in the last 10 days, as they have fallen below 500. As aftershocks will continue in the coming days and weeks, citizens should be careful and not enter damaged houses,” Tatar expressed.

Noting that other fault lines in the Central Anatolian Region were affected by the Feb. 6 earthquakes, Tatar said, “We see that the faults in different regions of Anatolia were also partially affected. We know that earthquakes have occurred in the last few days, and they are highly expected around Kayseri in particular.”

Tatar said that geological engineers are working in the field to study secondary disasters such as rockfalls and landslides triggered by earthquakes, adding that such studies have been carried out in about 180 residential areas so far.

As a result of these studies, a total of 110 villages in the 11 provinces in the earthquake zone were evacuated, he reported.