Turkey-Syria earthquake live news: No aid in NW Syria yet
The Syrian Civil Defence, leading efforts to rescue people buried under rubble in rebel-held areas of earthquake-hit Syria, says it has not received any aid so far.
“No aid has entered (north Syria) through any of the corridors,” Abdul Razzak Kentar, programmes manager at the Syrian Civil Defence, told Al Jazeera.
First responders from the group that was formed a decade ago to save the lives of civilians during Syria’s war sprang into action early on Monday when the 7.8-magnitude quake rocked Turkey and Syria.
Angela Kearney, the UNICEF representative in Syria, says schools sheltering displaced families in northern Syria have resorted to burning their furniture to keep people warm.
“In Aleppo, the number of people who have been displaced is going up by the hours,” she told Al Jazeera from the city of Latakia after a visit to the northwestern city.
“Right now it is freezing cold, so what they need is blankets and fuel,” Kearney said.
“We heard stories yesterday where some of the schools in Aleppo had started burning the school furniture because it’s so freezing,” added Kearney, noting that needs for medical care, food and psychological support were also high.
The death toll from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday has risen to more than 11,000.
At least 8,574 people have died in Turkey, the country’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Wednesday. At least 2,530 have been killed in Syria.
Erdogan has travelled to some of the most affected areas. On Tuesday, he had announced a three-month state of emergency across 10 provinces, while aid agencies grapple with the complicated logistics of sending emergency assistance to war-hit Syria.
More than 12,000 Turkish search-and-rescue personnel are working in the affected areas, along with 9,000 troops. More than 70 countries have offered rescue teams and other aid.
Britain has said it would provide more support, including items such as tents and blankets, to help survivors in freezing conditions in Turkey and Syria following earthquakes there.
“Our priority is to ensure lifesaving assistance is given to those most in need, coordinated with the Turkish government, UN and international partners,” Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said in the statement.