Turkey-Syria earthquake- latest: Desperation grips Syria as food supplies start to run out

Reeling from the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, Syrians are now facing starvation as food stocks are beginning to run out in the northwest of the country.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday it was running out of stocks and called to open more border crossings from Turkey after both countries were ravaged by the natural disaster.

“Northwest Syria, where 90 per cent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance, is a big concern. We have reached the people there, but we need to replenish our stocks,” Corinne Fleischer, WFP Regional Director in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe, told reporters.

“We are running out of stocks and we need access to bring new stocks in. The border crossing is open now, but we need to get new border crossings open.”

The Independent is asking readers to donate to its appeal, with all funds raised going to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together leading UK aid charities to help with the search and rescue effort and provide vital medicines, clean water and temporary accommodation for survivors.

Key Points

  • Desperation in Syria as food stocks begin to run out in the northwest

  • Death toll across Turkey and Syria crosses 21,000

  • UN appeals for more ‘life-saving aid’ ‘desperately' needed by civilians

  • US eases sanctions on Syria to allow earthquake aid

  • ‘Time running out’ for survivors trapped beneath rubble

  • Toddler pulled from ruins after 78 hours

Desperation in Syria as World Food Programme says it is running out of stocks in the northwest

10:11 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday it was running out of stocks in northwest Syria and called to open more border crossings from Turkey after both countries were ravaged by earthquakes.

“Northwest Syria, where 90 per cent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance, is a big concern. We have reached the people there, but we need to replenish our stocks,” Corinne Fleischer, WFP Regional Director in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe, told reporters.

“We are running out of stocks and we need access to bring new stocks in. The border crossing is open now, but we need to get new border crossings open.”

World Health Organisation

Thursday 9 February 2023 10:55 , William Mata

The World Health Organisation has put forward the importance for humanitarian organisations to act quickly.

Robert Holden, incident response manager, said many are surviving “out in the open, in worsening and horrific conditions”.

“We are in real danger of seeing a secondary disaster which may cause harm to more people than the initial disaster if we don’t move with the same pace and intensity as we are doing on the search and rescue side,” he added. “People need the basic elements to survive the next period.”

Full story

Thursday 9 February 2023 13:44 , William Mata

A series of earthquakes and aftershocks striking the border between southeast Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday have caused immense devastation.

Two major quakes measuring magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5 respectively shook the two countries on Monday, with hundreds of powerful aftershocks following.

As the rescue operation enters its fourth day, the true extent of the damage is still unravelling.

Read the full story here.

Earthquake flattens swathe of towns and cities in Turkey - Seven Italians among dead

Thursday 9 February 2023 13:48 , William Mata

Hundreds of buildings across Turkey and Syria collapsed during the earthquake (PA Media)
Hundreds of buildings across Turkey and Syria collapsed during the earthquake (PA Media)

Turkey is grappling with one of the biggest challenges from the earthquake that flattened a swathe of its towns and cities: how to shelter hundreds of thousands of people left homeless in the middle of winter.

Banks of tents are being erected in stadiums and shattered city centres, and Mediterranean and Aegean beach resorts outside the quake zone that use the winter months to prepare for summer tourism are opening up hotel rooms for evacuees.

But with some 6,500 buildings collapsed and countless more buildings damaged, hundreds of thousands of people lack safe housing.

- Seven Italians are missing following this week's deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said at a news conference on Thursday.

Plea for Britons to send money directly to relatives in Turkey

Thursday 9 February 2023 14:16 , William Mata

A Briton who lives in Turkey has pleaded with people in the UK to send money directly to people they know in the earthquake-hit country, saying of survivors “they can't wait a week, they're sleeping in their cars”.

The death toll from the earthquake and its aftershocks in Turkey and Syria now exceeds 16,000, with tens of thousands of people thought to have lost their homes and around 60,000 injured.

Debs Handy, 59, moved to Turkey in 2020 from the UK having previously lived in Chichester.

Now living in Calis, Fethiye, in south-west Turkey, with her husband, she and other expats have been gathering donations for people who work in Fethiye's hospitality industry who have family in areas impacted by the earthquake.

“Everyone's going through their wardrobes, they're going through anything they have spare,” Ms Handy said.

France pledges €12 million in emergency post-earthquake aid to Syria

Thursday 9 February 2023 14:17 , William Mata

France has pledged €12 million in emergency post-earthquake aid to Syria.

Soreign ministry spokesman François Delmas has said the aid to be disbursed “through non-governmental organisations and the United Nations in all regions affected”.

Mr Delmas said this would include €5 million towards a UN fund providing cross-border aid to northwest Syria and another €5 million for “several French and international NGOs working on emergency responses in the health, shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation sectors”.

The final €2 million is “under review” but could be spent on urgent food aid.

Death total now 19,300 - beyond Fukushima disaster

Thursday 9 February 2023 14:24 , William Mata

Deaths from earthquake in Turkey and Syria exceed 19,300, surpassing toll from Japan's Fukushima disaster.

In Turkey, the number has now risen to 16,170 with 60,000 injured.

The death toll in Syria is now 3,192 and around 5,000 are said to be injured.

Survivors struggle to keep warm

Thursday 9 February 2023 14:31 , William Mata

Turks try to stay warm with fire (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Turks try to stay warm with fire (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Thousands who lost their homes in a catastrophic earthquake huddled around campfires and clamored for food and water in the bitter cold, three days after the temblor and series of aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria, killing more than 19,300.

Rescuers continued their race to pull more people alive from the rubble, with the window closing to find trapped survivors. While stories of miraculous rescues briefly buoyed spirits, the grim reality of the hardship facing tens of thousands who survived the disaster cast a pall.

The number of deaths has surpassed the toll in a 2011 earthquake off Japan that triggered a tsunami, killing more than 18,400 people.

Anger over, now reversed, decision to block Twitter

Thursday 9 February 2023 14:35 , William Mata

Turkey's decision to block access to Twitter for about 12 hours from Wednesday afternoon to early Thursday as people scrambled to find loved ones after devastating earthquakes has compounded public frustration at the pace of relief efforts.

Opposition leaders and social media users criticised the throttling of the platform, which has helped people share information on arriving aid and the location of those still trapped in rubble after the initial tremor on Monday.

President Tayyip Erdogan's government has blocked social media in the past and focused in recent months on fighting what it calls "disinformation", which it said prompted the block on Wednesday.

It restored full access to Twitter early on Thursday as the quake's death toll in Turkey and neighbouring Syria shot past 17,000.

Syria situation ‘harder and more complicated’ - Cleverly

Thursday 9 February 2023 14:55 , William Mata

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (PA Wire)

Britain will continue to work with the United Nations and others to support Turkey and Syria following earthquakes there, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Thursday, describing the situation in Syria as "considerably harder”.

"We will continue working with the Turkish authorities to find out what more they need, and we will continue coordinating through the United Nations and the White Helmets civil force in Syria," he told a joint news conference in Rome.

"Of course, the situation in Syria, for obvious reasons, is considerably harder and more complicated, but nevertheless, there are lives that need to be saved."

Hundreds of aftershocks recorded

Thursday 9 February 2023 15:11 , William Mata

Almost 650 aftershocks have been recorded since the two 7.8 and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes struck on Monday, Turkey’s disaster management agency AHAD has said.

The after effects have made it harder for rescue workers to find any survivors after the main strike as the tremors follow on around the same area.

The aftershocks are caused by the Earth’s crust adjusting after the main shock.

Aid workers describe ‘grim’ devastation

Thursday 9 February 2023 15:15 , William Mata

The scene above Ankara (AP)
The scene above Ankara (AP)

Aid workers on the ground in Turkey and Syria have described the "grim" devastation caused by this week's earthquake as they called on the British public to donate to a new charity appeal.

Salah Aboulgasem, who is working for the charity Islamic Relief in Gaziantep, southern Turkey, arrived 14 hours after the earthquake struck 21 miles east of the city.

He said: "I've been working in the humanitarian space for more than 15 years. I've been to many disaster zones and I've been to many warzones, and I have to say that the size and the scale of this is unprecedented."

Mr Aboulgasem spoke of his shock at visiting Nurdagi, a nearby town of 50,000 people where he said 70 per cent of buildings had been flattened.

"Looking around, there were search and rescue operations going on everywhere," he said.

"Everywhere you looked there was a search and rescue going on. The buildings had completely collapsed. It was shocking to see it."

He added that survivors are so terrified of buildings collapsing in aftershocks that they are remaining out on the streets and living in tents.

Updated: Earthquake disaster poses 'serious difficulties' for Turkey's May elections

Thursday 9 February 2023 15:34 , William Mata

Recep Tayyip Erdogan tours the site of destroyed buildings during his visit to the city of Kahramanmaras in southeast Turkey (Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan tours the site of destroyed buildings during his visit to the city of Kahramanmaras in southeast Turkey (Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)

The devastating scale of Monday's earthquake in southern Turkey presents "serious difficulties" for planned elections in mid-May, a Turkish official said on Thursday, in the first sign that authorities could consider postponing the vote.

President Tayyip Erdogan, seeking to extend his rule into a third decade, said last month the elections would be held on May 14. Opinion polls published before the earthquake suggested they would be his toughest electoral challenge yet.

Erdogan's popularity has already been eroded by the soaring cost of living and a slump in the lira. He now faces a wave of criticism over his government's response to the deadliest quake to hit Turkey since 1999, shortly before he rose to power.

Whatever the political fallout from the disaster, the logistical challenge of holding elections in the affected areas are immense. The region affected by the quakes is home to some 13 million people, and hundreds of thousands need shelter after their buildings were destroyed or rendered unsafe.

Convoy crosses into rebel-held Syria

Thursday 9 February 2023 15:35 , William Mata

Syria Turkey Earthquake (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Syria Turkey Earthquake (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A small convoy crossed from Turkey into Syria's rebel-held northwest Thursday with desperately needed medicines, blankets, tents and U.N. shelter kits, the first aid to reach the enclave, three days after the devastating earthquake killed thousands.

Before the convoy of six trucks, the only cargo coming across the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkey-Syria border was a steady stream of bodies of earthquake victims — Syrian refugees who had fled the war in their country and settled in Turkey but perished in Monday's 7.8 magnitude quake. Tearful survivors carried the remains of their loved ones wrapped in sheets, while others waited on the Syrian side to receive them.

Even before the earthquake wreaked havoc on both sides of the border — the death toll on Thursday surpassed 19,000 — the Syrian enclave of 4.6 million people was plagued by extreme misery, with many living in displacement camps and relying on humanitarian aid to survive.

Update: Turkey battles to help house its citizens

Thursday 9 February 2023 15:43 , William Mata

Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Kahranmaras on Wednesday (EPA/MURAT CETINMUHURDAR/TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Kahranmaras on Wednesday (EPA/MURAT CETINMUHURDAR/TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE)

Turkey is grappling with one of the biggest challenges from the earthquake that flattened a swathe of its towns and cities: how to shelter hundreds of thousands of people left homeless in the middle of winter.

Banks of tents are being erected in stadiums and shattered city centres, and Mediterranean and Aegean summer beach resorts outside the quake zone are opening up hotel rooms for evacuees.

With some 6,500 buildings collapsed and countless more damaged, hundreds of thousands of people lack safe housing.

UN aid chief in Turkey, to visit Syria to assess quake needs

Thursday 9 February 2023 15:55 , William Mata

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths will visit Gaziantep in Turkey and Aleppo and Damascus in Syria this weekend to assess needs and see how the United Nations can best step up support, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.

Guterres also pushed for more aid access to opposition-controlled northwest Syria.

"Roads are damaged. People are dying. Now is the time to explore all possible avenues to get aid and personnel into all affected areas. We must put people first," Guterres told reporters in New York.

Germany to up funding to Syria by £23m

Thursday 9 February 2023 16:38 , Andy Gregory

Germany will increase the amount of humanitarian assistance it provides in Syria by €26m (£23m) in response to the devastating earthquakes this week.

A statement from the German embassy in Beirut said the funds were needed “especially in the affected areas in the northwestern parts of the country”, home to many Syrians displaced during the civil war.

“Germany can build on close ties with international organisations and NGOs in northwestern Syria, as it has already been providing extensive humanitarian assistance there,” the statement said.

Ukrainian team joins search for earthquake survivors

Thursday 9 February 2023 17:10 , Andy Gregory

Ukrainian rescue experts – whose skills have been sharpened in the wake of Russia’s invasion – have been sent to Turkey to help with the hunt for survivors and offer first aid.

“There is a war in our country, but we understand that we have to help, and this aid is mutual. There is no other way to do it,” said Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, adding: “This work goes on constantly, we have prepared people who take part in such operations.”

Kyiv has sent 88 people to Turkey, including specialists in search and rescue operations, doctors, dog handlers and firefighters. The team built tents near the city of Antakya to provide emergency shelter and set up generators for those left homeless by the earthquake.

They have joined rescuers from Turkey and around the world – including Russia.

“We will work and distance ourselves from Russian rescuers as far as we can. The coordination centre has informed us that Russian emergency crews are located in a far-off place and we won’t be able to meet,” Mr Khorunzhyi said.

“People should protect their lives, this is the most important thing they have. We sympathise with the Turkish people, the families of the dead and wounded.”

Britain will continue ‘close cooperation’ with Turkey, says Cleverly

Thursday 9 February 2023 17:27 , Andy Gregory

Britain will continue to work with Turkey to assess what more help is needed in the aftermath of the earthquakes, the foreign secretary has said.

Speaking from Rome, James Cleverly told reporters that UK officials had “been in close cooperation” with Ankara and the United Nations, saying: “We deployed an urban search-and-rescue team with modern world-class equipment to support the coalition that was already deployed.

“We will continue working with the Turkish authorities to find out what more they need and we will continue coordinating through the United Nations and the White Helmets civil force in Syria.

“Of course, the situation in Syria for obvious reasons is considerably harder and more complicated, but nevertheless there are lives that need to be saved and we will endeavour to work with the Turkish government and the Syrian opposition and the United Nations to try and help all the people that need our support.”

Watch: Babies pulled from rubble of Turkey earthquake flown to safety on Erdogan's plane

Thursday 9 February 2023 17:59 , Andy Gregory

First aid convoy crosses into Syria’s northwest

Thursday 9 February 2023 18:57 , AP

A small convoy has crossed from Turkey into Syria’s rebel-held northwest with desperately needed medicines, blankets, tents and UN shelter kits.

It is the first aid to reach the enclave, three days after the devastating earthquakes.

Before the convoy of six trucks, the only cargo coming across the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkey-Syria border was a steady stream of bodies of earthquake victims – Syrian refugees who had fled the war in their country and settled in Turkey. Tearful survivors carried the remains of their loved ones wrapped in sheets, while others waited on the Syrian side to receive them.

Under an agreement at the UN Security Council, Bab al Hawa is the only crossing the United Nations is allowed to use to deliver aid from Turkey to the enclave. But the chaos in the aftermath of the quake, damaged roads and piles of debris around the crossing prevented the UN from delivering aid.

Smaller aid groups have reportedly brought in some aid across other border crossings, but UN officials have been reluctant to break protocol.

US will continue to demand humanitarian access to all of Syria, Washington says

Thursday 9 February 2023 19:33 , Andy Gregory

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday to express continued support and discuss how the United States can continue efforts to provide assistance in Turkey and Syria following the earthquakes.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the US will continue to demand unhindered humanitarian access to Syria and urged Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's government to immediately allow aid through all border crossings.

British family’s baby monitor captures moment Turkey struck by powerful earthquake

Thursday 9 February 2023 20:05 , Andy Gregory

A British family’s baby monitor has captured the moment a deadly earthquake struck Turkey, reports my colleague Mary-Kate Findon.

This video shows little Katelyn’s cot shaking as the area was rocked by the earthquake which was felt as far as Egypt.

The family, from Hull, were on holiday in Turkey when the devastating event took place.

Lemi Gezer says he was in Istanbul when the quake hit, but his wife Victoria and baby were in Adana, much closer to the epicentre.

He immediately drove for 12 hours to reach his family, who were safe.

Mary Dejevsky | The political fallout of the Turkey earthquakes could be profound

Thursday 9 February 2023 20:41 , Andy Gregory

Our columnist Mary Dejevsky writes:

ome natural disasters, however devastating, remain just that: natural disasters. Others trigger changes that might have taken much longer or never happened at all. The earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria this week could turn out to be among them, if not now, then in the coming months.

There can scarcely be any part of the world where such a disaster could potentially have a greater impact than here, along a fault line that is not only geological – but political and cultural. With the chaotic aftermath of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the rise of Isis, and Syria’s still not ended civil war, the region has experienced quite enough volatility in recent decades – without the addition of this major catastrophe.

That the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, had been gradually reasserting his power over most of Syria and was preparing for a meeting with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – intended as a first step back to international acceptance – is a particularly grim irony. The fate of this encounter, and the prospects for a Turkey-Syria rapprochement, is just one of the big uncertainties created by the disaster.

The political fallout of the Turkey earthquakes could be profound | Mary Dejevsky

Death toll surpasses 20,000, making earthquake deadliest since Haiti

Thursday 9 February 2023 21:13 , Andy Gregory

The official death toll from the earthquakes has now risen above 20,000.

The number of confirmed fatalities in Turkey rose to 17,406, health minister Fahrettin Koca said – putting it on a par with the earthquake in northwest Turkey which killed more than 17,000 people in 1999.

In Syria, already devastated by nearly 12 years of civil war, more than 3,300 people have died, according to the government and a rescue service in the rebel-held northwest.

This appears to make it the most deadly seismic event since the magnitude 7 earthquake which killed 316,000 people in Haiti in January 2010.

Donate to The Independent’s appeal

Thursday 9 February 2023 21:30 , Andy Gregory

The Independent is asking readers to help by giving generously to an organsiation providing aid to those in desperate need.

All funds raised will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria earthquake appeal, which brings together leading UK aid charities to help with the search efforts and provide vital medicines, clean water and temporary accommodation.

Donate to our Turkey and Syria earthquake appeal

US to provide $85m in aid to Turkey and Syria

Thursday 9 February 2023 21:51 , Andy Gregory

The US Agency for International Development has announced that it will provide $85m in urgent humanitarian assistance to Turkey and Syria.

“USAID is providing emergency food and shelter for refugees and newly displaced people, winter supplies to help families brave the cold, critical health care services to provide trauma support, safe drinking water to prevent disease, and hygiene and sanitation assistance to keep people safe and healthy,” USAID said in a statement.

People watch as rescuers search in a destroyed building in Adana, southeastern Turkey (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
People watch as rescuers search in a destroyed building in Adana, southeastern Turkey (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

‘There’s no hope’: Man watches as machinery tears at remains of building where his family are trapped

Thursday 9 February 2023 22:39 , Andy Gregory

In the city of Nurdagi, situated some 35 miles from the epicentre of the earthquake, Mehmet Yilmaz was among a crowd of people who watched as construction machines tore at what remained of the building where six members of his family — including three children and a three-month-old baby — were trapped.

“There’s no hope,” the 67-year-old, who has not moved from the area for three days, told the Associated Press. “We can’t give up our hope in God, but they entered the building with listening devices and dogs and there was nothing.

He estimated about 80 people were still trapped within the collapsed structure, but said he didn’t believe any of them would be recovered alive.

“The building looks like stacks of paper and cardboard, the fifth floor and the first floor have collided into one,” he said.

People watch as rescuers and civilians look for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Nurdagi (ZEIN AL RIFAI/AFP via Getty Images)
People watch as rescuers and civilians look for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Nurdagi (ZEIN AL RIFAI/AFP via Getty Images)

Exclusive: Earthquake is ‘another layer of crisis’ for Syrian people, says Unicef

Thursday 9 February 2023 23:10 , Andy Gregory

The earthquakes which hit Syria on 6 February is “another layer of crisis” for the country, Unicef has said.

Syria has faced more than a decade of conflict, a worsening economic crisis, and a cholera outbreak declared in September 2022.

Unicef’s Eva Hinds told The Independent that experiencing the earthquake was likely to bring back memories of a time when fighting was “very, very active.”

UK aid worker helping earthquake relief effort ‘never seen such destruction’

00:05 , Josh Payne

A British aid worker said he has never experienced “this level of suffering, death and destruction” following the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Atiqur Rahman, who works as head of development for the Global Relief Trust, told the PA news agency he was in Syria when the 7.8 magnitude quake hit and said he thought a “high-speed train was going past the building”.

After hearing the situation in the Turkish city of Antakya was worse, his team drove there to find his colleagues based in the area had all lost their homes – with one fatally crushed by the rubble.

UK aid worker helping earthquake relief effort ‘never seen such destruction’

Expats, aid workers and celebrities urge quake donations ‘for sake of humanity’

01:02 , Josh Payne

British expats, aid workers and celebrities have urged people to send money to help the Turkey and Syria earthquake relief effort “for the sake of humanity”.

The Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an appeal for funds with the support of celebrities such as Daniel Craig, Sir Michael Palin, Tamsin Greig and the Rev Richard Coles – while also receiving the backing of the Prince and Princess of Wales, who made an undisclosed donation.

Expats, aid workers and celebrities urge quake donations ‘for sake of humanity’

Rishi Sunak joins volunteers at earthquake donation centre

02:04 , Andy Gregory

Rishi Sunak called the scenes from the aftermath of the Turkey and Syria earthquake “heart-breaking” as he helped students at a donation centre set up after the disaster, reports Ted Hennessey.

The prime minister met University College London (UCL) students in the capital on Thursday evening, helping pack items at the centre and donating hats, scarves and blankets.

At the centre in central London, set up by students from the UCL Turkish Society, Mr Sunak praised volunteers. “It’s been amazing to spend time with the students here at UCL who have come together to organise donations,” he told reporters.

“People in Turkey are affected by this awful tragedy and I’m sure this has been replicated across the country. It’s really hard, actually, to comprehend the scale of the tragedy that has happened. I as a dad, watching parents try and find their young children in the rubble, is heart-breaking. And we will do everything that we can to help Turkey.”

The UK government has pledged to match £5m in funds raised through an appeal to help the rescue and relief effort.

Rishi Sunak joins volunteers at earthquake donation centre

Analysis | Erdogan faces anger of his people over Turkey earthquake relief

03:01 , Andy Gregory

Our international correspondent Borzou Daragahi reports:

Anger is growing across Turkey to the way President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has handled the response to the devastating series of earthquakes and aftershocks that has left more than 16,000 dead in the country and made tens of thousands more homeless.

Rescue workers and residents in both Turkey and Syria – where thousands more have died – are still searching for survivors of the earthquakes, which struck heavily-populated regions of the both countries. But the political recriminations have already begun, with presidential and parliamentary elections having been scheduled – at least for now – on 14 May.

More than 13 million or 15 per cent of Turkey’s 85 million people across 10 provinces have been impacted by the disaster, with Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) facing accusations from earthquake survivors that the official response has been slow and uneven, especially in regions politically loyal to opposition parties. "Where is this state?" the Karar newspaper blared in a headline.

“The government has not prepared for an earthquake for 20 years,” said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the opposition People’s Republican Party, in a video. “If there is one person responsible for this, it is Erdogan.”

‘Where is the state?’ Erdogan faces anger of his people over Turkey earthquake relief

US to provide $85m humanitarian aid to Turkey, Syria

03:27 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The US said it will provide $85m in urgent humanitarian assistance to Turkey and Syria after a massive earthquake that killed more than 20,000 people.

The announcement by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) came shortly after secretary of state Antony Blinken spoke with Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, their second call in four days.

“This new funding is supporting USAID’s humanitarian partners to deliver urgently-needed aid for millions of people in Turkey and in Syria,” USAID said in a statement.

Washington has already sent to Turkey teams consisting of around 160 people and 12 dogs, whose top priority is to help save people from under thousands of collapsed buildings.

US eases sanctions on Syria to allow earthquake aid

03:33 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The US Treasury Department has issued a licence to send aid to Syria without incurring sanctions for nearly six months.

The licence grants the “broad authorisation necessary to support immediate disaster relief efforts in Syria”, the Treasury said in a statement on Thursday.

Wally Adeyemo, the deputy secretary of the Treasury, said: “As international allies and humanitarian partners mobilise to help those affected, I want to make very clear that US sanctions in Syria will not stand in the way of life-saving efforts for the Syrian people.”

Syrian refugee who lost 25 relatives in quake says ‘fate caught up with us’

04:13 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A Syrian refugee has spoken of his heartbreak after losing 25 relatives in the deadly earthquakes that devastated large parts of Syria and Turkey.

Amhad Idris said his entire family fled his home in 2012 to find refuge in the northwestern Syrian city of Saraqib, which also fell to rebel forces that same year, but said “fate caught up with us”.

The majority of his family was killed when the magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the city on Monday.

Visiting a makeshift morgue – which are reportedly running full throughout the already war-torn country – on Tuesday, Mr Idris was seen walking between the bodies of his loved ones as he clutched his dead grandson.

Read more.

Syrian refugee who lost 25 family in Turkey earthquake says ‘fate caught up with us’

Toddler pulled from ruins after 78 hours

04:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A two-year-old boy has been pulled from the wreckage of a destroyed building in Turkey, 78 hours after the earthquake that devastated large swathes of the country.

The toddler was pulled from the wreckage of a four-floor apartment building in the Odabası district in the city of Antakya. A Romanian and Polish rescue team worked a small gap between some collapsed concrete and lifted the boy to safety as he wept.

The child was handed to health workers and put into an ambulance to be taken away for a medical check. The boy’s unlikely escape prompted tears of joy from the rescue team.

Chris Stevenson reports.

Toddler pulled from ruins after 78 hours trapped by Turkey earthquake

Teen rescued from rubble after 80 hours

05:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A 16-year-old girl was pulled out alive from the earthquake rubble after 80 hours, leaving her overjoyed father in tears and the grieving nation cheering.

The rescue team took five hours to save her life after neighbours in the severely affected Antakya city raised the alarm after hearing sounds from the splintered walls.

“My dear, my dear!” the girl’s father called out, according to AFP, as rescuers pulled the teen out and the watching crowd broke into applause.

The death toll across Turkey and Syria has climbed over 20,000.

Syria orphans from quake taken in by overwhelmed relatives

05:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A Syrian baby girl whose mother gave birth to her while trapped under the rubble of their home during the devastating earthquake now has a name: Aya, Arabic for “a sign from God.”

With her parents and all her siblings killed, her great-uncle will take her in.

Aya is one of untold numbers of orphans left by Monday’s 7.8-magnitude quake, which killed more than 20,000 people in northern Syria and southern Turkey.

In most cases, relatives take in orphaned children, doctors and experts say. But those surviving relatives are also dealing with the wreckage of their own lives and families.

Read more.

Syria orphans from quake taken in by overwhelmed relatives

Live: Rescue efforts continue in Turkey after earthquake death toll passes 20,000

06:07 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Dog dug out of rubble after two days

06:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A small dog who was trapped under the rubble in Turkey’s Iskenderun following the devastating earthquake has been rescued.

The dog, named Pamuk, was dug out of the rubble after two days.

Pamuk was being looked after by its human’s neighbour, an eyewitness told CGTN. The owner was in a hospital in the city of Mersin approximately 200km west of Iskenderun.

UN appeals for more aid

06:37 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The United Nations has appealed for more aid for Turkey and Syria as the death toll from two devastating earthquakes crossed 21,000.

“Aid, life-saving aid, is desperately needed by civilians wherever they are irrespective of borders and boundaries,” said UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen.

“We need it urgently, through the fastest, most direct, and most effective routes. They need more of absolutely everything.”

Dam collapses in Syria flooding entire village

06:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A dam in Syria’s Idlib province has collapsed in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, flooding the entire village and forcing people to flee their homes.

The flood waters from the Asi River destroyed more than 20 houses in the rebel-held al-Tlul village and inundated dozens of others.

“The mud dam collapsed because of the earthquake,” Louan Hamadeh, one of the few villagers who remained despite the flooding, told AFP.

Over 18,000 bodies recovered in Turkey so far

07:02 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The death toll in Turkey from this week’s two devastating earthquakes has risen to 18,342, with the number of people injured rising to 74,242, the country’s disaster and emergency management authority said on Friday.

It said that 75,780 survivors have been evacuated from the quake zone in southern Turkey and that more than 121,000 personnel were involved in the rescue and relief efforts.

Ex-Chechen commander accused of alleged war crimes is heading Russia’s aid effort

07:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A former Chechen commander who is wanted by Ukraine for alleged war crimes is reportedly leading Russia’s earthquake relief efforts in Turkey.

Daniil Martynov is thought to be close to the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and was in multiple locations in Ukraine during the early days of Moscow’s war.

This week, he has spoken to several Russian media outlets from the earthquake-torn country after being appointed as an adviser in Russia’s emergency situations ministry last year, CNN reported.

Death toll crosses 21,000

07:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The toll in Turkey and Syria from this week’s two devastating earthquakes has crossed 21,000 as rescuers continue recovery efforts.

Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority on Friday said 18,342 bodies have been recovered so far, with the number of injured rising to 74,242.

Across the border in Syria, the death toll is at 3,377 deaths.

Earthquake ‘another layer of crisis’ for Syrian people, says Unicef

07:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The earthquake that hit Syria on 6 February is “another layer of crisis” for the country, Unicef has said.

At least 20,000 people have died in Turkey and Syria after the 7.8 magnitude tremor hit the countries.

Syria has faced more than a decade of conflict, a worsening economic crisis, and a cholera outbreak declared in September 2022.

Unicef’s Eva Hinds told The Independent that experiencing the earthquake was likely to bring back memories of a time when fighting was “very, very active.”

Watch here.

Exclusive: Earthquake is ‘another layer of crisis’ for Syrian people, says Unicef

‘Don’t forget about Syria,’ aid worker in Istanbul urges

08:07 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A British-Pakistani aid worker raising money for those impacted by the earthquake said she can feel the entire city of Istanbul “in mourning”, as she urged the West: “Don’t forget about Syria.”

Rubbia A, 27, who did not want to provide her last name, is a mental health researcher for King’s College London and has been working remotely while travelling abroad, stopping to visit her friend Safae Kherbouche, a 23-year-old Moroccan student in Istanbul.

As the earthquake hit, the pair vowed to provide humanitarian aid to Turkey and Syria and have raised more than £11,000 on JustGiving to supply victims with blankets, food, baby clothes, heaters, sanitary products and chargers.

“There’s a lot of kids without families now,” Rubbia, from south London, told the PA news agency.

“For me, Istanbul is like London - it’s a very diverse, bubbly city (but) now you can feel everyone’s in mourning.”

Ms Kherbouche added: “I lived in Gaziantep for two months in 2018... I know so many friends, so many people who have died.

“Earlier I was in the street, there was a family, a lady, her husband died... And she was left with six kids and all they had in their hands was a blanket.

“And I asked her: ‘What’s wrong?’, and she said their house has been burned in the earthquake.”

Rubbia and Ms Kherbouche were in the east of Turkey only last week, and had planned to fly from Gaziantep back to Istanbul on Monday February 6.

When their flight was cancelled due to heavy snow, they were forced to travel sooner and arrived in Istanbul just as the earthquake began.

They are raising money through three mediums, including JustGiving, Rubbia’s self-founded charity named Beyond Borders, and Ms Kherbouche’s own network of friends and connections within Turkey.

“We woke up on Monday morning and found out there was an earthquake in the region that we were meant to fly from on that morning,” Rubbia explained.

“So obviously (our) faith is very strong.”

The duo are dedicated to getting crucial aid to those in most need and have already used £1,000 in donations to buy 63 heaters.

Donate to our Turkey and Syria earthquake appeal

08:31 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Independent is appealing for help in raising urgently needed funds following the deadliest earthquake to hit Turkey and Syria in almost a century.

More than 20,000 people have now died and hundreds of thousands more have been left injured and homeless after large swathes of the country were devastated.

A lack of equipment and expertise to reach those who are still trapped has hampered rescue efforts in Turkey, while the situation in Syria has been made complicated by the conflict that has wrecked its infrastructure.

Donate to our Turkey and Syria earthquake appeal

Toddler pulled from ruins after 78 hours trapped by Turkey earthquake

08:50 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A two-year-old boy has been pulled from the wreckage of a destroyed building in Turkey, 78 hours after the earthquake that devastated large swathes of the country.

The toddler was pulled from the wreckage of a four-floor apartment building in the Odabası district in the city of Antakya. A Romanian and Polish rescue team worked a small gap between some collapsed concrete and lifted the boy to safety as he wept.

The child, identified as Mehmet Tatar, was handed to health workers and put into an ambulance to be taken away for a medical check. The boy’s unlikely escape prompted tears of joy from the rescue team.

Toddler pulled from ruins after 78 hours trapped by Turkey earthquake

Syria's Assad visits Aleppo hospital in first reported trip to quake-hit area

09:21 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the Aleppo University Hospital, the presidency said on Friday, his first reported trip to an earthquake-hit area.

The presidency shared images of Assad and his wife visiting people who were injured in the devastating earthquake which has killed thousands.

President Bashar al-Assad bombed the town of Marea (AFP via Getty Images)
President Bashar al-Assad bombed the town of Marea (AFP via Getty Images)

In pictures: Homes turned to rubble in Turkey

09:49 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

People take in the site of a collapsed building following a powerful earthquake in the city of Kahramanmaras, Turkey.

 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

10-day-old baby and mother saved after 90 hours trapped inside building wrecked by earthquake

10:51 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A newborn baby and his mother have been rescued from the rubble in Turkey, around 90 hours after the first of the deadly earthquakes to strike the country and Syria.

The 10-day-old boy, named Yagiz, was retrieved from a wrecked building in the southern Hatay province, which has suffered terrible damage from the tremors.

The child being carefully taken out overnight, wrapped in a thermal blanket being carried to an ambulance. His mother was brought out on a stretcher. Both were taken to hospital for checks and treatment.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu tweeted that the rescue happened in the town of Samandag.

10-day-old baby and mother saved after 90 hours trapped in earthquake rubble

After 104 hours buried by Turkey earthquake, woman brought out alive

11:38 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rescuers pulled a woman alive out of the rubble of a collapsed building in Turkey on Friday, prompting cheers from onlookers about 104 hours after she was buried by the huge earthquake that wrought death and destruction across the region.

German emergency workers carefully lifted 40-year-old Zeynep Kahraman on a stretcher past shattered blocks of concrete and twisted metal in the town of Kirikhan into an ambulance.

“Now I believe in miracles,” Steven Bayer, the leader of the International Search and Rescue team said at the site.

“You can see the people crying and hugging each other. It’s such a huge relief that this woman under such conditions came out so fit. It’s an absolute miracle,” he said.

The combined death toll from the deadliest quake in the region in decades stood at 21,000 in southern Turkey and northwest Syria on Friday morning.

Hundreds of thousands more people have been left homeless and short of food in bleak winter conditions, desperate for a multi-national relief effort to alleviate their suffering.

‘Oh my god’: British family’s baby monitor captures moment mother rescues child from cot as earthquake strikes

12:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A British family feared for their lives as the deadly Turkey-Syria earthquake was caught on their baby monitor.

The family, from Hull, was on holiday in Turkey when the earthquake hit, killing more than 21,000 people across the two middle eastern nations.

Lemi Sanli, who provides security for Hull City owner Acun Ilicali, was safe in Istanbul, but his wife Victoria and their baby daughter, Katelyn, were in Adana, close to the epicentre of the quake.

He described seeing Katelyn’s cot shaking in footage captured on the baby monitor as his wife could be heard shouting “Oh my God” as the Frere Jacques nursery rhyme on the child’s music box continues.

British family’s baby monitor captures moment Turkey earthquake strikes

Watch live: Erdogan visits Turkey’s quake sites after death toll passes 20,000

12:18 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Watch live as Turkey’s president visits earthquake wreckage sites after the death toll passes 20,000.

Live: Erdogan visits Turkey's quake sites after death toll passes 20,000

After 104 hours buried by Turkey earthquake, woman brought out alive

12:56 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rescuers pulled a woman alive out of the rubble of a collapsed building in Turkey on Friday, prompting cheers from onlookers 104 hours after she was buried by the huge earthquake that wrought death and destruction across the region.

“Now I believe in miracles,” rescue team leader Steven Bayer, said after crews carefully lifted 40-year-old Zeynep Kahraman on a stretcher past shattered blocks of concrete and twisted metal into an ambulance in the town of Kirikhan.

“You can see the people crying and hugging each other. It’s such a huge relief that this woman under such conditions came out so fit. It’s an absolute miracle,” he said.

Kahraman lay still, strapped into the stretcher with her arms across her chest, her eyes shielded from the sudden light by dark glasses. Her younger sister Zuebeyde looked on and hugged a worker from the German International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team.

“The woman pulled through. She didn’t give up,” rescue dog handler Tamara Reither said as crowds applauded.

“We are all so grateful that she is lying in this ambulance now. I have no words.”

Kahraman’s family told Reuters this week they had waited two days for rescuers to arrive after Monday’s quake.

The German workers made contact with Zeynep while she was still deep inside the rubble and kept her hydrated through a hose. At one point they helped Zuebeyde climb down a ladder close to her sister’s position to speak to her.

The combined death toll stood at 21,000 in southern Turkey and northwest Syria on Friday morning, on the fifth day after the deadliest quake in the region in decades .

Hundreds of thousands more people have been left homeless and short of food in bleak winter conditions, desperate for a multi-national relief effort to alleviate their suffering.

Syrian White Helmets chief slams U.N. earthquake response

13:16 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The head of the Syrian “White Helmets” emergency response group accused the United Nations on Friday of failing to deliver appropriate humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas of the country ravaged by a major earthquake and its aftershocks.

Raed Al Saleh, who leads the group, said the area had not received any aid from the U.N. since Monday’s earthquake aimed at disaster response, saying that the six trucks that crossed the border into Syria on Thursday had been a regular shipment that had been delayed.

“The trucks that entered yesterday are a convoy that was scheduled to enter on Monday but was late due to the earthquake,” he told reporters via video link from Idlib. “Until now no aid has arrived to northwest Syria from the U.N. as a response to the earthquake.”

Saleh called the United Nations’ response “catastrophic” and said the body should “apologise to the Syrian people for the lack of help it provided”.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saleh’s allegations.

The International Organization for Migration, a U.N. agency, said 14 trucks carrying humanitarian aid had crossed into Syria after departing from the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep earlier on Friday. The trucks, bound for rebel-held Idlib, carried items including electric heaters, tents, blankets, according to the IOM.

When asked whether the 14 trucks that crossed into Syria were part of a regular aid shipment and not linked to the earthquake response, IOM spokesperson Paul Dillon said the “pre-positioning” of aid was not the issue.

“The issue is that critically needed humanitarian aid that is suitable for people who have been displaced, including tents, blankets and other materials, are being delivered to northwest Syria at this time,” he said.

The White Helmets, known officially as Syria Civil Defence, have been credited with saving thousands of people in rebel-held areas hit by bombing by government and Russian forces in Syria‘s twelve-year-long civil war.

White Helmets members say they are neutral. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his backers, including Russia, describe them as tools of Western propaganda and of Islamist-led insurgents.

 (RAMI AL SAYED/AFP via Getty Images)
(RAMI AL SAYED/AFP via Getty Images)

In pictures: Roads of devastation in Turkey and Syria

13:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A man walks among the rubble of a collapsed building in Hatay, Turkey.

Thousands of buildings collapsed in the devastating earthquakes, killing over 20,000 people.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

‘Where is the state?’ Erdogan faces anger of his people over Turkey earthquake relief

14:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The president has admitted some issues with the speed of help arriving in devastated areas, but it has done little to calm survivors who have lost loved ones and their homes, writes Borzou Daragahi.

‘Where is the state?’ Erdogan faces anger of his people over Turkey earthquake relief

Erdogan says earthquake response should have been faster

14:49 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The response of search and rescue teams to the massive earthquakes in the country’s south was not as fast as the government wanted, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

“Although we have the largest search and rescue team in the world right now, it is a reality that search efforts are not as fast as we wanted them to be,” Erdogan said, adding that the death toll in the country had climbed to 18,991.

Previously Erdogan has accepted that the first response was slow immediately after the quake due to bad weather, damaged roads and the vast area impacting 10 provinces in the country.

Some residents in the worst hit areas complained that no emergency workers were on the ground in the crucial first hours after the quake, a charge opposition politicians have picked up on, blaming Erdogan’s government.

Erdogan said search and rescue continued with teams joining efforts from all over the world after 94 countries offered help.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a survivor hug each other as he visits the city center destroyed by earthquake (Turkish Presidency)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a survivor hug each other as he visits the city center destroyed by earthquake (Turkish Presidency)

Some 24.4 million people in Syria and Turkey have been affected, according to Turkish officials and the United Nations, in an area spanning 450 km (280 miles) from Adana in the west to Diyarbakir in the east. In Syria, people were killed as far south as Hama, 250 km from the epicentre.

Speaking in Adiyaman province, which was also hit by the earthquakes, Erdogan said some people were robbing markets and attacking businesses, adding that a state of emergency declared in the area will allow the state to impose necessary penalties.

Evacuations from the area continued. Due to the large number of damaged buildings, tent cities have been set up by authorities to house hundreds of thousands left without home in temperatures below 0 Celsius.

After visiting displaced people sheltered in tents, Erdogan said if people preferred to move from the impacted cities the government would pay their rents for a year.

“We will rebuild these (damaged) buildings within one year and will hand them back to citizens...While we do that we will pay the rent of citizens who do not want to stay in tents,” Erdogan said.

Syrian government approves humanitarian aid delivery across frontlines-state media

15:22 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Syrian government has approved humanitarian aid delivery across the frontlines of the country’s 12-year civil war, state media said on Friday.

This could speed up the arrival of help for millions of people affected by Monday’s deadly quake.

Aid distribution will take place in cooperation with the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, state media said, to “guarantee the arrival of this aid to those who need it”.

The U.N. has pushed for aid to flow more freely into Syria, especially into the country’s northwest - where it estimated more than 4 million people already required aid before the quake - via frozen frontlines and through crossings with Turkey.

More than 3,200 people have died in Syria from the earthquake, with many more injured and hundreds of thousands displaced. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that the death toll in Turkey had risen to 19,388.

Dozens of planeloads of aid have arrived in areas held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government since Monday but little has reached the northwest, leading many residents to say they feel left alone.

State media reported that the government had also declared areas worst affected by the quake, Lattakia, Hama, Aleppo and Idlib, disaster zones and would set up a rehabilitation fund.

Turkey earthquake: Teenager trapped under rubble for 94 hours drinks own urine to survive

15:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A teenager trapped following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey says he was forced to drink his own urine during the 94 hours he spent under the rubble.

“I was able to survive that way,” Adnan Muhammed Korkut explained, after being pulled from the basement where had been trapped since two major earthquakes and more than 100 aftershocks struck on Monday.

Before dawn in Gaziantep, near the epicentre of the quake, rescuers pulled Adnan from the remains of his home – a crush of twisted metal, buckled walls, smashed tiles, and mangled beams.

Emily Atkinson has more:

Turkey earthquake: Teenager trapped for 94 hours drinks own urine to survive

2 powerful quakes link Turkey, Japan and Syria in suffering

16:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Mountains of rubble and twisted metal. Death on an unimaginable scale. Grief. Rage. Relief at having survived.

What’s left behind after a natural disaster so powerful that it rends the foundations of a society? What lingers over a decade later, even as the rest of the world moves on?

Similarities between the calamity unfolding this week in Turkey and Syria and the triple disaster that hit northern Japan in 2011 may offer a glimpse of what the region could face in the years ahead. They’re linked by the sheer enormity of the collective psychological trauma, of the loss of life and of the material destruction.

The combined death toll of Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake rose past 20,000 deaths as regional governments announced the discovery of new bodies Thursday. That has already eclipsed the more than 18,400 who died in the disaster in Japan.

2 powerful quakes link Turkey, Japan and Syria in suffering

Satellite images reveal fault line through city near epicentre of Turkey’s deadly earthquake

16:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

New satellite images show a significant fault line stretching through a city near the epicentre of Turkey’s deadly earthquake.

A vast fault line rupture in Nurdagi is seen cutting across a motorway, farmland, and residential areas in photos shared today by Maxar Technologies.

Images from before and after the two major earthquakes on Monday capture the extent of the devastation left behind in their wake.

See here:

Satellite images show fault line near epicentre of Turkey earthquake

Turkey earthquake: 10-day-old baby saved after spending almost half its life under rubble

17:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A newborn baby and his mother have been rescued from the rubble in Turkey, around 90 hours after the first of the deadly earthquakes to strike the country and Syria.

The 10-day-old boy, named Yagiz, was retrieved from a wrecked building in the southern Hatay province, which has suffered terrible damage from the tremors.

The child being carefully taken out overnight, wrapped in a thermal blanket being carried to an ambulance. His mother was brought out on a stretcher. Both were taken to hospital for checks and treatment.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu tweeted that the rescue happened in the town of Samandag.

10-day-old baby saved after spending almost half its life under earthquake rubble

Moment teenager who was trapped for 94 hours pulled from earthquake rubble

17:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Search and rescue workers cried out in joy after pulling a 17-year-old, who had been trapped for 94 hours, out from under the rubble in Turkish city of Gaziantep on Friday.

Adnan Muhammed Korkut was freed after becoming stuck under debris following Monday’s devastating 7.8 magnitude quake and powerful aftershocks.

One rescue worker, Yasemin, said she had spent the past four days trying to help the teenager and had not slept.

Speaking to reporters, Korkut said he had survived over the past four days by “drinking his own urine” as he waited for help.

Donate to our Turkey and Syria earthquake appeal here.

Moment teenager who was trapped for 94 hours pulled from earthquake rubble

Thousands want to adopt Syria’s ‘miracle baby’ born under earthquake rubble

18:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A baby born under the rubble and rescued after devastating earthquakes in Syria has been christened with an Arabic name that means “sign from God” and has received several offers of adoption.

The baby girl’s mother had delivered the new born under the rubble of a collapsed building, but had died shortly after.

The newborn was still connected to her mother’s umbilical cord when she was discovered by rescuers in the small town of Jinderis, next to the Turkish border, Ramadan Sleiman.

The baby is one of the only surviving members of her family.

Doctors said they named the girl “Aya” or Arabic for “sign from God”.

Thousands want to adopt Syria’s ‘miracle baby’ born under earthquake rubble

In pictures: Volunteers prepare graves for the casualties in Syria following devastating earthquake

18:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Photos show volunteers preparing graves for the casualties, in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake, in rebel-held town of Jandaris, Syria.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Humanitarian aid charity providing hot meals to families who have lost their homes in Turkey

19:15 , Milica Cosic

Humanitarian aid charity Khalsa Aid is distributing blankets and providing hot meals to families who have lost their homes and are now living in tents as a result of the Turkey and Syria earthquake.

While the government is providing help to those in desperate need, they are struggling to reach many people in both countries.

Therefore, Khalsa Aid International has dispatched a three-person team from its Iraq branch - as well as its CEO - to carry out assessments and deliver emergency support on the ground in Turkey

On its website, the charity said: “The team, travelled overnight by road from Iraq, arriving in Turkey on Tuesday afternoon. The travel infrastructure and thousands of buildings have been completely destroyed leaving residents trapped in cities this added to the difficulties in traveling for our rescue team.

“Our team travelled with a truckload of 3,500 blankets to distribute as those who have lost their homes are now battling freezing conditions as the temperature is expected to remain very cold in the coming days, with overnight temperatures dropping to below -5 degrees celsius.”

They added that over the next few days focus remains on providing the most urgent aid.

UNHCR: Five million Syrians ‘left homeless by earthquake’

19:45 , Milica Cosic

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees worrying reported that up to 5.3 million Synrians in the country’s northwest may have been left homeless by the earthquakes.

In a statement, the UNHCR said that the country is now in the “depths” of winter, as many people have been forced to sleep outside due to fears of another earthquake or damage to their homes.

The refugee agency said: “For Syria, this is a crisis within a crisis.

“We’ve had economic shocks, COVID and are now in the depths of winter, with blizzards raging in the affected areas.

“A number of our own staff are sleeping outside their homes because they are worried about the structural damage to their homes. This is just a microcosm of what is happening throughout the affected areas.

“All this, of course, impacts the access for aid. Roads have been damaged and that hampers us trying to reach people. It’s been very, very difficult. There are 6.8 million people already internally displaced in the country. And this was before the earthquake.”

The earthquake toppled buildings and sent panicked residents pouring outside in the cold winter night (AP)
The earthquake toppled buildings and sent panicked residents pouring outside in the cold winter night (AP)
Syrian citizen have been searching through the wreckage of a collapsed building, in Azmarin town, in Idlib province north Syria (AP)
Syrian citizen have been searching through the wreckage of a collapsed building, in Azmarin town, in Idlib province north Syria (AP)
Syrian civil defense members search for people under the rubble of a destroyed building in Afrin (AP)
Syrian civil defense members search for people under the rubble of a destroyed building in Afrin (AP)

Financial help grows for Turkey and Syria

20:15 , Milica Cosic

Financial aid is growing for Syria and Turkey, following the devastating earthquake that has seen the death toll rise to 22,000.

Governments and international organisations are now stepping up their financial support, as they funnel more financial resources into the stricken regions.

The World Bank has today announced that it is committing £650 million ($780 million) to help Turkey rebuild its infrastructure. It is also preparing a further £830 million ($1 billion) in support.

Meanwhile, the United States has said it would provide £71 million ($85 million) to fund humanitarian efforts.

The EU, UK, China and Australia are also among those countries that have said they would contribute millions of dollars in funding.

Humberto Lopez, the World Bank Country Director for the Republic of Turkey, said: “Turkey’s immediate and future needs are immense and span the whole range from relief to reconstruction.”

Rescue workers pull out a young woman from a collapsed building in Adiyaman, southern Turkey (AP)
Rescue workers pull out a young woman from a collapsed building in Adiyaman, southern Turkey (AP)
People with their belongings arrived at the tents in Kharamanmaras, southeastern Turkey today (AP)
People with their belongings arrived at the tents in Kharamanmaras, southeastern Turkey today (AP)

Earthquake zone has been likened to ‘Armageddon’

20:45 , Milica Cosic

The earthquake zone in Turkey has been likened to ‘Armageddon’ by the head of Britain’s official rapid response team.

David O’Neill, 51, leader of the UK International Search and Rescue team has said that his team of responders are still rescuing people days after the earthquake, which struck in the early hours of February 6.

He said: I’ve never seen anything like it. One of my own team described it as Armageddon.

“It looks horrendous, then you turn a corner and it looks worse.”

The first non-governmental team of British responders to arrive in Turkey was Saraid, a charity that provides disaster zone Search and Rescue expertise.

Rescue team members take a break during search for survivors in the city of Kahramanmaras, southeastern Turkey (EPA-EFE)
Rescue team members take a break during search for survivors in the city of Kahramanmaras, southeastern Turkey (EPA-EFE)
Crates of water pile up at an AFAD makeshift camp erected in a stadium in the city of Kahramanmaras, southeastern Turkey (EPA-EFE)
Crates of water pile up at an AFAD makeshift camp erected in a stadium in the city of Kahramanmaras, southeastern Turkey (EPA-EFE)

Daniel Craig’s emotional appeal for help

21:15 , Sam Rkaina

22:22 , Sam Rkaina

We’re ending our coverage of the Turkey earthquake disaster for the night but keep checking independent.co.uk for the latest updates.

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