The death toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria is expected to continue to rise by the “thousands”, officials from the World Health Organisation said Tuesday, as the window of time for finding survivors in the rubble narrows.
Around 23 million people are likely to be affected by Monday’s devastating earthquake and in need of humanitarian assistance, the officials said, citing figures provided by the Pacific Disaster Centre, a disaster management organisation.
As thousands of search and rescue workers continued to comb the ruins of buildings on Tuesday, the authorities in Turkey and Syria said that more than 5,000 people were dead and that tens of thousands more were injured.
“We can expect those numbers to go up substantially,” Dr Rick Brennan, the regional emergency director of the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean office, said in an interview.
The organisation typically anticipates initial death tolls to increase eightfold to tenfold after earthquakes, Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, a regional emergency director for the group’s office in Europe, said, adding that the odds of successful rescues decline over time. “The later people are found under the rubble, the worse the chances for survival get,” he said.
New York Times News Service