Turkey earthquake, over 49,000 dead. New quake of magnitude 4.8

Violent storms hit refugee tent cities: at least 14 victims

I am more than 49 thousand people who lost their lives in Turkey due to the earthquake of last February 6th. Updating the balance is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who also speaks of more than 115,000 injured as a result of the earthquake. “Eleven provinces suffered unprecedented damage. While 14 million of our citizens were directly affected, more than 49,000 citizens were killed, more than 115,000 were injured,” Erdogan said at the Organization of Turkish States summit in Ankara.

The Turkish government, the president promised, “will heal the wounds caused by the earthquake as soon as possible. We plan to build a total of 610,000 houses and hand them over to their rightful owners”.

Meanwhile one new earthquake, of magnitude 4.8, was registered in the province of Bolu, 13 kilometers from the homonymous capital and 250 kilometers east of Istanbul. This was reported by AFAD, the Turkish agency responsible for disaster management, explaining that the epicenter was recorded at a depth of about 10 kilometers in the suburb of Kyzylagyl. The media report that the quake was felt in many places.

And worrying news is coming from the tent cities of refugees due to the violent storms that affected the areas devastated by the earthquake. The news talk about 14 dead which are added to the thousands of corpses found under the rubble. And the situation for Syrian refugees has become untenable. According to Mohamed Marfoq who, together with Marco Canzonieri, volunteered on behalf of the Don Bosco 2000 Association in the areas affected by the earthquake, “the refugee camps are completely flooded, whole families and children no longer have a place to take shelter”. “After the earthquake, the Syrians became the last of the last – says Canzonieri -. In those tents one breathes desperation, there are families in disarray. Some try to lead a normal life, they wash the laundry, there are those who read, they are walking souls, yet when we arrived with the material they seemed to come back to life, they rejoiced, the children lit up”.

A precarious condition that was further aggravated when the Turkish government ordered the movement of Syrian refugees from the Kahramanmaras stadium to outlying areas, without water, far from shops in which to buy food and with only one bathroom for thousands of people. “We are witnessing discrimination in the tragedy, these people really need help – they explain from the Don Bosco 2000 Association – and their cry reaches as far as Italy, through the local volunteers with whom we constantly interface”. In order not to leave these people alone, fundraising is active on the Association’s website www.acasaloro.it/emergency-terremoto-in-turchia-e-siria/. “We appeal to everyone so that the suffering of these people can be alleviated”, conclude the association.