Erdogan: More than 8,000 people rescued alive from rubble
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said over 8,000 people were rescued alive from the rubble since last week’s earthquake.
“We also discharged a significant amount of more than 81,000 citizens who survived the earthquakes with injuries,” Erdogan said during a video message he has sent to World Government Summit 2023, hosted by the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
"Earthquakes, which have affected an area of 500 kilometers in 10 provinces where around 13,5 million people were living, caused a great destruction,” Erdogan said, adding that together with the adjacent cities where the tremors were felt, the population affected by the disaster was almost reached 20 million.
Two massive earthquakes have hit Turkey’s southeast on Feb.6, so far claiming at least 31,974 lives. The quakes’ magnitudes were recorded as 7.7 and 7.6 respectively, both epicenter in Kahramanmaras.
According to official data, 42,000 buildings had either collapsed or in urgent need of demolition, or severely damaged.
“We are facing one of the greatest natural disasters not only in our country, but also in the history of humanity,” Erdogan said, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Erdogan stated that from the very first moments of the earthquake, the state and the nation have mobilized all their resources for the disaster area and the relevant institutions of the state as well as non-governmental organizations and volunteers have made great efforts to help the disaster victims.
Recalling that more than 100 countries have expressed their condolences and sent support messages to Turkey, "Some countries have shown their solidarity with Turkey by calling personally, some by sending rescue teams, and some by organizing aid campaigns,” Erdogan said.
“Once again I would like to thank all the friendly and brotherly countries that collected aid for our nation day and night, supported our search and rescue struggle with their teams, and did not forget us in their prayers. We will never forget your friendship on this dark day. This disaster once again showed how important international solidarity is,” Turkish President said.