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Turkey – Syria Earthquake: Over 50,000 dead, survivors struggle for shelter

As per the most recent data, the earthquake that shook Turkey and Syria earlier this month killed almost 50,000 people. The death toll may rise because many people are still missing, and over three lakh apartments have already been destroyed in Turkey. 

The first earthquake, measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale, struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6. The second, which came a little later, measured 7.6. According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the region has been rocked by almost 9,000 aftershocks.

Lakhs of rescue teams from several countries, including India, converged on the two countries to assist in the massive search and rescue operation. Several regions were initially difficult to reach.

While rescue efforts continue, fears about the spread of diseases in earthquake-ravaged communities mount.

According to UN estimates, the earthquake has affected about 20 million people in Turkey, and 8.8 million people in Syria.

With elections coming up in a few months, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to restore homes within a year, while experts say the government should prioritise safety above speed. In the most recent earthquakes, some buildings that were meant to withstand tremors crumbled.

The government has also dispatched tents to the many people who are now homeless.

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