Tue, 28 March 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Turkey-Syria quakes: German, Austrian rescuers halt work

Update : 11 Feb 2023, 20:27

Over 24,000 people have now been confirmed dead following earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Rescue teams from Germany and Austria have halted their operations due to the worsening security situation.

German and Austrian rescue teams have suspended operations in Turkey, citing security concerns.

Germany's Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and the I.S.A.R Germany aid organization said they were suspending operations after riot-like situations in the province of Hatay.

THW and I.S.A.R attributed the situation to "the shortage of food and the problematic water supply in the earthquake area."

"It can be seen that grief is slowly giving way to anger," I.S.A.R director of operations Steven Bayer said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Austrian military said it had suspended its rescue operations in Turkey due to a worsening "security situation."

"There is increasing aggression between factions in Turkey," Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Kugelweis of the Austrian Armed Forces said.

The Austrian disaster relief unit has been helping with the search and rescue operations in Hatay since Tuesday.

They were confined to their base camp until the situation improved.

"We would like to continue helping, but the circumstances are what they are," Kugelweis said.

Death toll passes 24,000

Search and rescue teams worked through the night, pulling more bodies from the rubble following Monday's devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The death toll in Turkey has risen to 20,665, the country's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said on Saturday.

In neighboring Syria, the death toll in government and opposition-held areas stands at 3,553.

There have been 1,891 aftershocks since the first quake early on Monday, AFAD said.

The number of rescues are falling, although some survivors were still being found.

The focus has shifted to helping the survivors, with many in desperate need of aid.

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