Turkey to continue rescue operations in two provinces only

Ankara |Monday, 2023 4:45:09 AM IST
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Nearly two weeks after massive 7.8 earthquake that left over 44,000 people dead in Turkey and Syria, the Turkish disaster agency on Sunday said it is calling off rescue efforts in all areas except the provinces of Kahramanmaras - the epicentre - and Hatay, reports said.

This comes as hopes of finding anyone else alive under the rubble are fading fast.

"In many of our provinces, search and rescue efforts have been completed," the disaster agency's chief, Yunus Sezer, told reporters in Ankara, the BBC reported.

The death toll following the February 6 quake is expected to climb, with about 345,000 apartments in Turkey known to have been destroyed and many people still missing. Neither Turkey nor Syria have said how many people are still unaccounted for.

Sezer said search and rescue efforts were continuing at around 40 buildings in the two provinces, but he expected this number to fall by end of Sunday.

Rescue workers pulled at least three people from the rubble on Friday, more than 11 days after they were trapped when the earthquake hit.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Turkey and announced $100m in humanitarian aid.

--IANS vd

( 207 Words)

2023-02-19-22:48:04 (IANS)