By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Rescuers in Turkey have rescued two women alive who were trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings for 122 hours after the region’s deadliest earthquake in 20 years.
A day after Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, criticised the response of rescuers and relief forces and said that they should have reacted faster to the big earthquake, the number of victims in southern Turkey and northwestern Syria neared 25,000.
The number of deaths in Turkey alone rose to 20,923 on Saturday, 11 February, 2023, while more than 3,500 were killed in Syria.
United Nations confirmed that up to 5.3 million people in Syria may be homeless after the earthquakes, while nearly 900,000 people are in urgent need of hot food in Turkey and Syria.
“As many as 5.3 million people in Syria may have been left homeless by the earthquake,” the Syria representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Sivanka Dhanapala, said on Friday, 10 February, 2023, adding “that it is a huge number and comes to a population already suffering mass displacement.”
Turkey’s Vice President, Fuat Oktay, told newsmen that with the efforts of 31,000 rescuers throughout the affected area, 67 people were rescued from the rubble in the last 24 hours alone.
Oktay, who disclosed that about 80,000 people are being treated in hospitals, while 1.05 million people have been made homeless by the earthquake and have been accommodated in temporary shelters, added, “Our main goal is to ensure that they return to a normal life by delivering permanent housing to them within one year, and that they heal their pain as soon as possible.”