AP

UN says at least 50,000 killed in Turkey and Syria quakes

Feb 27, 2023, 10:02 PM | Updated: Feb 28, 2023, 12:19 pm

People stans by a building destroyed in recent earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. ...

People stans by a building destroyed in recent earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)

(AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria have killed at least 50,000 people with many more injured, tens of thousands still missing and hundreds of thousands homeless, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Tuesday.

Martin Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council that three weeks after the magnitude 7.8 quake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria, followed by strong aftershocks including on Monday, the scale of the disaster is now much clearer: At least 44,000 people have been killed in Turkey and about 6,000 in Syria mainly in the rebel-held northwest.

The U.N. flash appeal for $397.6 million to help Syrian quake victims is 42% funded and the $1 billion appeal for victims in Turkey is just 7.4% funded – and this only covers emergency needs for the next three months, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday.

Griffiths told the council meeting focusing on Syria that before the earthquakes 15.3 million people – 70% of the country’s population – needed humanitarian assistance, and he said he saw during a post-quake visit that in harsh winter conditions entire neighborhoods have been destroyed.

“Early assessments indicated 5 million people in Syria require basic shelter and non-food assistance,” the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs said. “In many areas, four to five families are packed into tents, with no special facilities for older people, people with chronic illnesses or those with disabilities.”

In addition, Griffiths told council members that hundreds of buildings are at high risk of collapsing, thousands more may need to be demolished, the risk of disease is growing amid a pre-quake cholera outbreak, and the price of food and other essential items is climbing higher.

“Women and children face increased harassment, violence and risk of exploitation and the need for psychosocial support is great,” he said.

Griffiths said machines need to be imported to Syria to clear rubble, equipment is needed for makeshift hospitals, and tools are needed to restore access to drinking water.

“The U.N. is working to address unintended obstacles generated by sanctions and counterterrorism laws, including procurement hurdles and delays for materials to repair essential infrastructure, medical supplies, or security equipment for our operations,” he said.

As for Turkey the two very large earthquakes on Feb. 6 “caused an estimated $34.2 billion in direct physical damages,” the equivalent of 4% of the country’s 2021 GDP, according to a World Bank rapid damage assessment report released Monday.

The report said recovery and reconstruction costs will be much larger, potentially twice as large, and that GDP losses associated to economic disruptions will also add to the cost of the earthquakes.

—- Fatima Hussein contributed to this report from Washington.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

11 hours ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

1 day ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

1 day ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

2 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

7 days ago

boeing nasa...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays

Boeing launched astronauts for the first time Wednesday, belatedly joining SpaceX as a second taxi service for NASA.

7 days ago

UN says at least 50,000 killed in Turkey and Syria quakes