Death toll from Turkey and Syria earthquake reaches 12,000 as searches continue

The death toll from the massive earthquake that devastated parts of Turkey and Syria this week reached over 12,000 as desperate searches for survivors continue amid waning hope.

The powerful 7.8 magnitude quake occurred in the early morning hours of Monday morning as many residents slept, leaving buildings destroyed and reduced entire neighborhoods to piles of rubble. The ensuing aftershock registered at 7.5, making matters on the ground, where temperatures were freezing, even worse.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Kahramanmaras province, the epicenter of the massive earthquake, to survey the damage. He pledged no victims of the disaster would go homeless and admitted to some faults in the Turkish government’s response to the quake. Families of victims who are still missing have raised outcry over the length of time it took for rescue teams to be deployed to the hardest-hit regions of the country. 

“We are facing one of the biggest disasters not only of the history of the Turkish Republic but also of … the world,” said President Erdogan. The quake is one of the deadliest in recent history, having crumbled over 6,000 buildings and seeing hospitals filled to capacity with victims. The search and rescue effort has been aided by about a dozen other countries who sent first responders to assist in sifting through the rubble for bodies and survivors.

Two search and rescue teams from the United States deployed to Turkey to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake. The teams arrived on Wednesday and are preparing to enter the effort this week. President Joe Biden released a statement on Monday saying the United States is ready to assist in the recovery efforts in Turkey and Syria. “Our teams are deploying quickly to begin to support Turkish search and rescue efforts and address the needs of those injured and displaced by the earthquake,” Biden wrote. “U.S.-supported humanitarian partners are also responding to the destruction in Syria.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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