The death toll in Syria and Turkey following the earthquake in the two countries is nearing 44,000. In Syria, the death toll is estimated to be a little over 5,800. In Turkey, at least 38,044 people have been killed by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Rescuing four more people after 10 days
Ten days after the unimaginable disaster, a few more people have been rescued from the ruins. Though not many, the constant finding of survivors has no doubt prolonged the rescue operations in Turkey.
261 hours after the quake, rescuers found two men alive in Antakya. The men are Mehmet Ali Sakiroglu, 26 and Mustafa Avci, 34. The two survivors are currently at a hospital in the city. An hour before that, 12-year-old Osman Halebiye was safely rescued in Elkinci.
On the 258th hour after the quake, another woman was rescued in Kahramanmaras. Turkish news agency, Anadolu, reported that she was in a stable condition and speaking.
Syrian refugees return home after losing everything once again
Several Syrians crossed the country’s border into Turkey since the war started. However, following the earthquake that struck last week Monday, some Syrians have returned home. Most of these returnees lost everything before fleeing to Turkey. For the second time in a few years, they lost everything and have been forced to return home.
Um Yaser, escaped Syria’s civil war nine years ago alongside her son, daughter-in-law and her grandchildren. Following the earthquake, all her properties were destroyed in the Turkish city of Antakya. Left with no option, she returned to Syria alongside members of her family.
“We became homeless, without shelter. We move every day to a place to protect my grandchildren from the cold and rain,” Um Yaser told Aljazeera, adding that she returned to live with her son in the town of Dana in northern Idlib.
“I know the situation in Idlib is not safe and the earthquake has led to great losses, but at least I have a house here to shelter me and my grandchildren,” she added.
Another returnee, Mahmoud al-Issa, told Aljazeera that he left for Turkey barely a month ago to treat his wife of cancer. Following the earthquake last week, al-Issa has been forced to return home with little hope of finding treatment for his wife.
“It is impossible to describe our situation during the earthquake. The only thing we wanted at the time was to find a way to communicate and check on my family and children in Syria,” Mahmoud al-Issa said. “Today, we return to our town, but I do not know how we will continue to treat my wife or how I will provide her with medicine, which is not available in our area.”
Although the Syrian death toll is not as high as that of Turkey, several Syrians have died in Turkey. Some of the bodies have since been taken into Syria even before survivors were allowed to return home.