According to human rights activists, at least five people have died in Syria as a result of the new earthquake in the south-eastern Turkish province of Hatay. In the towns of Aleppo, Tartus and Hama, residents panicked and suffered cardiac arrest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday morning. Among the fatalities was a child whose heart was said to have stopped.
More than 500 people were reportedly injured, including at least 350 in government-controlled regions and 150 in rebel-held areas. Many people jumped in panic from buildings or were hit by rubble. The head of the rescue organization White Helmets, Raed al-Saleh, also reported 150 injuries for the Syrian regions held by rebels.
The Syrian Observatory reported that many people had spent the night outside again in freezing temperatures. Houses also collapsed during the renewed earthquake.
In Turkey, the death toll rose to six, according to the state news agency Anadolu. The rescue workers recovered three dead people from the rubble in Hatay province overnight, Anadolu reported on Tuesday. According to official information, three people had already died. Almost 300 people were injured.
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the southeastern Turkish province of Hatay on Monday. People ran into the streets in panic, as could be seen on television pictures. The earthquake was also felt in northern Syria and as far away as Lebanon. Early in the morning of February 6, a 7.7-magnitude tremor shook southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, followed hours later by a second severe 7.6-magnitude tremor. In both cases, the epicenter was in the southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras. More than 47,000 people have died so far.
Baerbock and Faeser promise ongoing help
Germany promised those affected by the devastating earthquake the best possible acute aid and ongoing support for reconstruction. "Our sympathy is not limited to words and it will not diminish when the catastrophe and its consequences are crowded out by other headlines in the news," promised Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) today on a joint visit with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). in southeast Turkey.
Faeser assured the "deeply felt solidarity" of the federal government in view of the tens of thousands of victims. "The survivors who have lost everything need winterized shelters quickly," she said before departing for the visit. After the Bundeswehr brought more than 340 tons of relief material to Turkey in 20 flights, the Air Force is again transporting 13 tons of relief supplies to Turkey today. These include 100 tents, 400 camp beds and more than 1000 sleeping bags.
Welthungerhilfe: More help for Syrian earthquake victims
Shortly before the ministers' visit, Welthungerhilfe called for more help for the affected Syrians. "In north-western Syria in particular, too little of the urgently needed support is still arriving," said the general secretary of the aid organization, Mathias Mogge, of the German Press Agency in Berlin.
The opening of further border crossings between Turkey and Syria is a start. "But now relief supplies such as water, medicine, food and tents must be delivered quickly and in sufficient quantities."
Employees on site reported "that the people in the Syrian earthquake areas feel abandoned by the international community for the second time," said Mogge. Welthungerhilfe is providing survival aid with local partners, but the need is huge. "We will need perseverance to assist the victims of the earthquake not only in surviving but also in the first phase of reconstruction," he predicted.
How does the facilitated visa issue work?
The two German ministers also planned to visit one of the reopened visa acceptance centers and a newly established mobile visa acceptance bus. Earthquake victims should be given three-month visas to temporarily stay with close relatives in Germany.
According to the Federal Foreign Office, Germany has issued entry permits to a “double-digit number” of people from Turkey just over a week after the introduction of the simplified visa procedure. Other applications are being processed, it said. By Friday afternoon, 20 visas had been issued.
The procedure was criticized because, despite the promise of unbureaucratic help for issuing a visa, a valid passport and a biometric photo are required. Critics complain that these are often unobtainable in view of the destruction.
Germany has been helping with 58 million euros so far
So far, Germany has provided aid amounting to 58 million euros for the earthquake victims - 8.2 million euros of which is for material supplies, according to the federal government. These include around 200 tents for twelve people each, as well as tent equipment such as camp beds, sleeping bags, generators, tent heating and lighting.
According to the federal government, 52 helpers and four rescue dogs from THW have been in the earthquake area, 38 emergency services and 3 rescue dogs from the NGO @fire, 43 emergency services and 7 rescue dogs from I.S.A.R. Germany and the Federal Police with 25 emergency services and 5 rescue dogs. Their operations have been completed. There are other German aid organizations on site. A conclusive overview of the German non-governmental organizations active there is not available.