Death toll in Syria and Türkiye following devastating earthquakes rises
7 Feb 20233 Min Read
The death toll is now estimated at over 11,000 and rising
A collapsed building as search and rescue efforts continue. Photo: Caritas Syria
The death toll following the devastating earthquake which struck Syria and Türkiye in the early hours of Monday 6th February is now estimated at over 11,000 and rising.
Thousands more are injured and displaced with buildings destroyed and the infrastructure devastated. Rescuers are working against the clock to free hundreds of people thought to be trapped in the rubble of scores of flattened buildings.
Trócaire is working with our partner Caritas Syria to support those affected by this terrible event. Caritas Türkiye, a member of the Caritas Internationalis network of which Trócaire is also a member, is also working on the relief effort in their country.
The needs in Syria now are enormous. The country has already suffered from a protracted 12-year conflict which has seen millions of people displaced from their homes with towns and villages destroyed by constant bombing. Many buildings already weakened through explosions stood no chance when the earthquake hit.
Rescuers search for victims and survivors. Photo: Caritas Syria
Devastating impact of major earthquake. Photo:Caritas Syria
Caritas Syria reports that people are afraid to stay in the buildings that have been left standing, and are sleeping rough or in their cars in freezing winter conditions. Others have managed to find temporary shelter in school halls.
The earthquake heavily impacted North-West Syria, an area where 4.1 million people already were depending on humanitarian assistance. Hospitals in some of hardest-hit areas were overwhelmed as they worked to treat those injured by the earthquake. The majority of those displaced are women and children.
Caritas Syria is monitoring the situation on the ground but there are frequent telecommunication disruptions and power shortages. Infrastructural damages are difficult to assess at this time and roads have been reportedly blocked in north-west Syria.
People will need a huge amount of support in the coming weeks. Trócaire will be supporting Caritas Syria in providing shelter, food, water, blankets and other essential items.