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Turkey-Syria earthquake: death toll passes 28,000 as UN warns it could ‘more than double’ – latest news

As the rescue efforts continue following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, here is a summary of recent events.

  • The death toll from Monday’s earthquake has surpassed 28,000. Turkish vice president said last night the death toll in his country had risen to 24,617. The Agence France-Presse has reported there has been 3,553 death in Syria.
  • UN emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths said the death toll from the earthquake is likely to “more than double”, adding that he expected tens of thousands more deaths. He visited the Turkish province of Kahramanmaraş on Saturday, describing the earthquake as the “worst event in 100 years in this region”
  • Search operations continue, and in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay, a Romanian rescue team carried a 35-year-old man named Mustafa down a pile of debris from a building, broadcaster CNN Turk said, about 149 hours after the quake.
  • A spokesman for the UN secretary-general has told the BBC it was time “to put all politics aside” to deliver aid to Syria, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, added that it was “hard to imagine a more complex emergency” in Syria.
  • The WHO’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reportedly visited Aleppo on Saturday
  • Turkey’s president, Tayyip Recep Erdoğan, has warned that looters will be punished after reports of people taking goods in earthquake-hit areas. Turkish authorities arrested 48 people for looting or trying to defraud victims, state media reported on Saturday.
  • Turkish police have detained 12 people over collapsed buildings in the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa, including building contractors, following the huge quake that hit Turkey, local media reported on Saturday.Turkish officials issued more than 100 arrest warrants in connection with the poor construction of buildings that collapsed in Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey.
  • Facing questions over his handling of Turkey’s most devastating earthquake since 1939, President Tayyip Erdogan promised to start rebuilding within weeks, saying hundreds of thousands of buildings were wrecked.
  • The European Union’s envoy to Syria urged Damascus not to politicise issues of humanitarian aid, rejecting accusations as “unfair” that the bloc had failed to provide sufficient help to Syrians. “It is absolutely unfair to be accused of not providing aid, when actually we have constantly been doing exactly that for over a decade and we are doing so much more even during the earthquake crisis,” Dan Stoenescu told Reuters.
  • A border gate between Turkey and Armenia opened for the first time in 35 years on Saturday to allow aid to reach those affected in southern Turkey, state-owned Anadolu news agency and a diplomat said
  • Turkish energy company Karadeniz Holding said on Saturday it would send two humanitarian aid ships that can each house 1,500 people, to help the relief effort in the southern province of Hatay, Turkey, Reuters reports.

Source: The Guardian

Header: People walk next to damaged buildings in Antakya, the capital of Hatay province. Photograph: Bülent Kılıç/AFP/Getty Images