Terrifying moment apartment block collapses around demolition workers in Turkish town devastated by earthquake – as death toll from disaster passes 37,000
- Buildings were sent crumbling to the ground with many irreparably damaged
- The rescue phase is coming to a close, with focus turning to helping survivors
This is the terrifying moment an apartment block comes crashing to the ground as demolition works on damaged structures get underway in Turkey.
The horrific quakes last week- which have so far killed more than 37,000 people in Turkey and Syria – sent buildings crumbling to the ground and many irreparably damaged.
Demolition workers in Turkey’s southern city of Diyarbakir were filmed Tuesday as they started to dismantle one of the desecrated structures before it dropped to the ground as grey smoke rose into the air.
Six survivors have so far been rescued from beneath the rubble in Turkey today, now eight days on from the worst quake in the country’s modern history.
The news comes as the rescue phase of the operation comes to a close as authorities turn towards helping those who have survived with food, safe accommodation, and schooling.
Demolition workers in Turkey’s southern city of Diyarbakir were filmed Tuesday as they started to dismantle one of the desecrated structures before it dropped to the ground
The building dropped to the ground as grey smoke rose into the air
It is understood that much of the apartment block had already crumbled to the ground during the horrifying quakes last week, before the remainder was brought crashing to the ground.
A fire crew used cranes in the Kurdish-majority city to demolish the building hit by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that already turned most apartment blocks into mounds of rubble and piles of shattered masonry.
More than 37,000 people in Turkey and Syria have so far been found dead. Rescuers continued to work through the night to find people clinging to life beneath the rubble eight days later.
Hopes of finding many more survivors have been fast fading, as attention now shifts to helping those who survived find shelter, food or a haven elsewhere.
But emergency responders on Tuesday were able to drag six people alive from the rubble.
A woman and a man were pulled out from the ruins in the southern city of Hatay some 204 hours after the quake hit the region and parts of northwest Syria, Turkish media said.
Earlier on Tuesday, an 18-year-old named Muhammed Cafer was rescued from the rubble of a building in southern Turkey some 198 hours after last Monday’s earthquake, broadcaster CNN Turk said.
In Turkey’s Adiyman province, broadcasters showed rescue workers carrying Cafer strapped on a stretcher, an oxygen mask on his face and a health worker holding an IV bag, from the site of the collapsed building to a waiting ambulance.
Cafer could be seen moving his fingers as he was carried away.
A short while earlier, rescue workers pulled two brothers alive from the ruins of an apartment block in neighbouring Kahramanmaras province.
State-owned Anadolu news agency identified them as 17-year-old Muhammed Enes Yeninar and his brother, 21-year-old Baki Yeninar, who was rescued after him.
They were both placed in ambulances and taken to hospital. Their condition was unclear.
A woman is rescued from the rubble of a building some 203 hours after last week’s devastating earthquake, in Hatay, Turkey February 14, 2023
An aerial view of collapsed buildings after the powerful twin earthquakes hit Turkey’s Kahramanmaras on February 13, 2023
More than 37,000 people in Turkey and Syria have so far been found dead
The 7.7 earthquake, centered in the Pazarcik district, jolted Kahramanmaras and strongly shook several provinces, including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis
Rescuers carry the body of a victim at the site of a collapsed building, in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Hatay, Turkey, February 14, 2023
Locals and non-governmental organizations continue search and rescue efforts in Jindires district after north-western Syria was hit by 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes centered in Turkey
Jewelry shop owners at the old town of Antakya look for silver from the rubble, following the deadly earthquake in Hatay province, Turkey, February 14, 2023
A view of buildings destroyed in the earthquake on February 14, 2023
A man walks past buildings destroyed in the earthquake on February 14, 2023
But UN authorities have said the rescue phase was now coming to a close, with the focus turning to shelter, food and schooling, as those who survived said they were struggling.
‘People are suffering a lot. We applied to receive tent, aid or something but until now we didn’t receive anything,’ said Hassan Saimoua, a refugee staying with his family in a playground in Turkey’s southeastern city of Gaziantep.
Saimoua and other Syrian refugees who had found refuge in Gaziantep from the war at home but were made homeless by the quake used plastic sheets, blankets and cardboard to erect makeshift tents on a patch of grass in the playground.
‘The needs are huge, increasing by the hour,’ said Hans Henri P. Kluge, the World Health Organizations’s director for Europe. ‘Some 26 million people across both countries need humanitarian assistance.’
‘There are also growing concerns over emerging health issues linked to the cold weather, hygiene and sanitation, and the spread of infectious diseases – with vulnerable people especially at risk.’
Meanwhile, survivors joined a mass exodus from earthquake-hit zones, leaving their homes unsure if they can ever come back.
‘It’s very hard … We will start from zero, without belongings, without a job,’ said 22-year-old Hamza Bekry, a Syrian originally from Idlib who has lived in Hatay, in southern Turkey, for 12 years.
‘Our house collapsed completely. Several of our relatives died, there are still ones under the rubble,’ he added, as he prepared to follow his family to Isparta in southern Turkey.
He will become one of more than 158,000 people who have evacuated the vast swathe of southern Turkey hit by the quake, one of the deadliest tremors in the region’s modern history.
Drone footage in the southern Turkish city of Kahramanmaras showed the sheer extent of the devastation caused by the earthquake, collapsing dozens of buildings and forcing hundreds of families to live in tents erected in a stadium in freezing temperatures.
Empty buildings with their walls ripped open showed the power of the earthquake last week that devastated the city, close to the epicentre of the tremor that struck southern Turkey and Syria.
Drone footage in the southern Turkish city of Kahramanmaras showed the sheer extent of the devastation caused by the earthquake. Pictured: before (left) and after (right)
An aerial view of collapsed buildings after the powerful twin earthquakes hit Turkiye’s Kahramanmaras on February 13, 2023
A search-and-rescue dog and his master search the rubble of collapsed buildings in Kahramanmaras on February 14, 2023
A person carries belongings next to the rubble of a collapsed building, in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Hatay, Turkey February 14, 2023
A Turkish flag is pictured in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Elbistan, Turkey February 14, 2023
Two images, taken in 2020 and again after the earthquake, highlighted the trail of destruction in the city, with many houses turned to rubble. However, some apartment blocks survived with apparently minor damage, such as cracked walls.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who faces an election scheduled for June that is expected to be the toughest of his two decades in power, acknowledged problems in the initial response but said the situation was now under control.
Turkey faces a bill of as much as £70 billion, a business group said. Turkey’s Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said some 42,000 buildings had either collapsed, were in urgent need of demolition, or severely damaged across 10 cities.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to allow U.N. aid to enter from Turkey via two more border crossings late on Monday, the world body said, in a move that could help get aid to those in opposition-held northwest Syria.
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