Turkey and Syria Earthquake Death Toll Passes 21,000

According to media reports,the death toll from the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria has exceeded 21,000. Tens of thousands more were injured and thousands of buildings collapsed. Experts say that depending on injuries, being trapped, the lack of adequate air and water, and the weather, the chances of survival of those trapped in collapsed buildings are diminishing to about a week at most. U.S. experts point out that “Usually after five to seven days, it is very difficult to find survivors, and most search teams consider stopping after this deadline.” Turkish opposition groups, academics and NGOs protested against the government’s restrictions of the access to social media, especially in the quake zone the communication became more difficult. In an updated assessment, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences gave magnitudes of 7.8 and 6.7. The shaking of an earthquake was also felt in Israel, according to official reports. Syrian media quoted the National Earthquake Center as saying that this was the strongest earthquake in Syria since 1995. Turkey has entered a three-month state of emergency in the affected areas following the powerful earthquake. Meanwhile, Turkey’s stock market plunged, triggering two circuit breakers. The Istanbul Stock Exchange announced on Wednesday (Feb 8th) that trading will be suspended until February 15th, which is the first time in 24 years.

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