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Death toll from Turkey-Syria earthquake may reach 20,000, says WHO

Death toll from Turkey-Syria earthquake may reach 20,000, says WHO
February 07
09:59 2023

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says up to 20,000 people may die as a result of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

On Monday, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey with a ripple effect in the neighboring country of Syria.

Shortly after, a second earthquake of about 7.5 magnitude struck.

The first earthquake which sent tremors across the region is one of the strongest to hit Turkey in more than 100 years and it came as the middle eastern country is experiencing a snowstorm expected to continue until Thursday.


The death toll from the earthquakes stands at almost 4,500 people as of Tuesday.

Catherine Smallwood, WHO senior emergency officer for Europe, said the fatality figure might reach eight-fold in the coming week.

Smallwood reportedly spoke when the death toll stood at around 2,600.


“There’s continued potential of further collapses to happen so we do often see in the order of eight-fold increases on the initial numbers,” AFP quoted her as saying.

“We always see the same thing with earthquakes, unfortunately, which is that the initial reports of the numbers of people who have died or who have been injured will increase quite significantly in the week that follows.”

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, said Nigeria is ready to fully support Turkey and Syria.

“The President wishes those injured a speedy recovery and assures that the prayers and thoughts of Nigerians are with the many affected by this severe disaster and its aftershocks,” the statement reads.


“As a steadfast friend to Turkey and Syria, President Buhari says Nigeria is ready to offer its full support in any way possible.”

Other countries around the world are also sending support to help the rescue efforts, including specialist teams and equipment.


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