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Earthquake in Turkey and Syria could affect 23 million, says WHO; deaths rise to 5,000


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The earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria could affect 23 million people in both regions, the WHO (World Health Organization) warned this Tuesday (7), the UN executive board.

According to the entity’s director, Adelheid Marschang, of the total number of people exposed, about five million are already in a state of vulnerability. This is the case of refugees from the Syrian War, for example, and the local population living in urban and rural areas damaged by more than a decade of conflict. She also warned that the main unmet needs could be in Syria.

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The organization’s secretary general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, drew attention to the urgency of the situation. “Now it’s a race against time. With each passing minute, with each passing hour, the chances of finding survivors decrease.”

Since the beginning of the rescues, carried out in the midst of intense cold, the death toll has exceeded the 5,000 mark — 3,419 in Turkey, according to the vice president, Fuat Oktay, and 1,602 in Syria, according to the balance sheets of the authorities. of Damascus and rescue teams in rebel zones.

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There are also thousands of wounded on both sides. Weather conditions in the Anatolian region hamper rescue efforts and jeopardize the prospects of survivors, who keep warm in tents or at makeshift fires.

The shock was registered in the early hours of Monday (6), still Sunday night (5) in Brazil, and was also felt in Lebanon, Cyprus and Northern Iraq. International aid should start arriving this very Tuesday, both in the areas affected by the earthquake and its aftershocks.

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