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Turkey-Syria earthquakes death toll passes 5,000

  32m ago

Large cracks appear on Syrian dam

Large cracks have developed on a hydroelectric dam in Aleppo, Syria, a tweet from Syria TV shows:

#عاجل | تصدع في سد ميدانكي بمنطقة عفرين جراء الزلزال المدمر#تلفزيون_سوريا #زلزال #هزة_أرضية

— تلفزيون سوريا (@syr_television) February 6, 2023

Syria TV is a Turkey-based Syrian opposition channel.

Afrin, in rural Aleppo, is under the control of Turkish forces.

Syrian opposition groups fear that if the dam collapses, it would inundate the entire area, which would be disastrous for the thousands of displaced people living in nearby refugee camps.  

-- Khaled Wassef contributed reporting


Freezing conditions could hamper earthquake rescue efforts

The weather in Turkey and Syria is expected to get drier and sunnier this week but remain freezing after heavy rain and snow hit the areas hit hardest by Monday's earthquake, CBS News partner network BBC News reports.

The temperature is expected to be around 43 degrees Fahrenheit during the day in Gaziantep, where the earthquake struck, and drop to around 19.5 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

In the villages and towns closer to the mountains, the temperature could fall as low as five degrees Fahrenheit.

In Syria, the temperature is expected to be around 50 degrees Fahrenheit by day and 26.6 degrees Fahrenheit by night, the BBC reported. 


International soccer player Christian Atsu rescued alive from rubble

Thirty-one-year-old professional soccer player Christain Atsu was pulled alive from under rubble, officials from his current team, Hatayspor, in Turkey, said Tuesday.

Atsu, who previously played in the Premier League for Everton and Newcastle United, joined Hatayspor in September and was selected for Ghana's international team in 2019.

"Christian Atsu was pulled out injured. Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble," Hatayspor's Vice President Mustafa Ozat said, according to the Reuters news agency.


Video shows child rescued from under rubble in Syria

A video shared by the White Helmets, a Syrian volunteer organization that operates in opposition-held parts of the country, often rescuing people from bombed-out buildings, shows a young child being pulled from the rubble after Monday's devastating earthquake and aftershocks.

Ahmed, a displaced child, was rescued from the ruins of his home in the village of Qatma, north of #Aleppo, #Syria. The family's house was destroyed by today's devastating #earthquake.

— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) February 6, 2023

Syria, which has been ravaged by a brutal civil war for years, is calling on the United Nations for  help with its rescue efforts. The area that was worst affected by the earthquake is split between government-held territory, controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and opposition-held territory, which borders Turkey and is surrounded by government forces.

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh, did not directly say whether other crossing points into the country from Turkey would be opened for aid deliveries. He said the government was ready to help deliver aid "to all Syrians in all territory of Syria," but said it must be coordinated through Damascus.


World Health Organization says "race against time" to save survivors

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was "now a race against time" to rescue people trapped after yesterday's earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

"Every minute, every hour that passes, the chances of finding survivors alive diminishes," Tedros said.

The WHO boss said that rescue efforts were hampered by continued aftershocks, damage to infrastructure, and severe winter conditions.

"We are especially concerned about areas where we do not yet have information. Damage mapping is ongoing, to understand where we need to focus our attention," Tedros said.

He said the WHO was sending three charter flights to both Turkey and Syria with medical supplies, including surgical trauma kits.

"This is a moment when we must come together in solidarity, as one humanity, to save lives and alleviate the suffering of people who have already suffered so much," Tedros said.

  Updated 1m ago

Breaking down the latest details on deaths

Turkey's president, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Tuesday the death toll in his country had climbed to 3,549.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said earlier that another 20,534 people had been injured.

The death toll in government-held areas of Syria climbed to 812 people, with some 1,450 injured, according to the Health Ministry.

In the nation's rebel-held northwest, the opposition's Syrian Civil Defense, or White Helmets, the paramedic group leading rescue operations, said at least 790 had been killed and more than 2,200 injured. Those numbers were expected to "rise dramatically," the Reuters news service quoted the White Helmets as saying.

-- The Associated Press contributed reporting


WHO: Quake could impact 23 million people

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that Monday's earthquake and aftershocks in northeastern Turkey and northern Syria could affect as many as 23 million people, Agence France-Presse reports.

AFP says WHO senior emergencies officer Adelheid Marschang told the U.N. health agency's executive committee, "Event overview maps show that potentially 23 million people are exposed, including around five million vulnerable populations."