Earthquake: international aid sent to all of Syria, several children survived
International aid will be able to be delivered on Saturday to all the disaster areas of Turkey and Syria, where the relief workers managed to extricate several living children from the rubble of the powerful earthquake which killed more than 24,000 people.
The Syrian government on Friday authorized “the delivery of humanitarian aid to the whole” of the country – including rebel-held areas in Syria – where 5.3 million people are at risk of becoming homeless, the UN has warned.
The World Food Program (WFP), a specialized agency of the United Nations, has established the number of people affected by the earthquake in the two countries at 874,000, and has requested $77 million to provide them with food.
On both sides of the border, thousands of homes are destroyed and rescuers are stepping up their efforts to search for survivors.
Amid cheers, a six-year-old boy was pulled alive from the rubble on Friday, though in shock and injured in the face, in Jandairis, northwestern Syria, a reporter from the 'AFP.
His brother did not survive. Rescuers are still looking for members of his family, likely buried in the rubble.
In southern Turkey, in Antakya, “at the 105th hour” after the earthquake, rescuers also pulled an 18-month-old infant alive, from the debris of a building, then his brother, told the chain of NTV television.
Two hours earlier, a three-year-old girl had also been rescued in the earthquake-stricken town.
Friday afternoon, a mother and her two children were rescued from the rubble in Gaziantep (southeast).
In Nurdagi, in the same province, a six-month-pregnant woman was also able to come out alive from the rubble, after some 115 hours spent under a pile of ruins. Her six-year-old daughter was also saved an hour earlier.
According to the latest official reports, the earthquake , with a magnitude of 7.8, has claimed at least 24,218 lives: 20,665 in Turkey and 3,553 in Syria.
“When I see the destroyed buildings, the bodies, it doesn't It's not in a year or two that I plan, it's tomorrow that I can't imagine,” Fidan Turan told AFP in Antakya, Hatay province.
“We lost sixty members of our family. Sixty. What can I say? It's the will of God,” the sixty-year-old whispered, her eyes reddened and her features drawn under her veil.
The family home in the village also collapsed. “Where can we go? We have nowhere left,” she whispered, her voice cracking.
Two kilometers to the north, five diggers are digging up the earth of a vast field to hastily dig graves, intended to accommodate the countless victims. A thousand people will be buried here, including 600 on Friday. < /p>
“400 imams from all over Turkey were sent to Hatay to say the funeral prayers. It's terrible, ”said Yusuf Özcan, an imam from Usak, 900 km away, in a nearby parking lot.
If humanitarian aid from abroad is flowing into Turkey – Germany notably announced on Friday that it was sending 90 tonnes of material by plane – access to Syria at war, whose regime is under sanctions international organizations, is proving more complicated.
“The Council of Ministers has accepted the delivery of humanitarian aid to the whole” of Syrian territory, “including areas outside the control of the State “, announced the Syrian government.
Damascus specified that the distribution of the aid should be “supervised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent”, with the support from the UN.
Until then, almost all the aid provided to the rebel areas transited in dribs and drabs, from Turkey through the Bab al-Hawa, the only one currently guaranteed by the United Nations.
The WHO estimates that 23 million people in the two countries are “potentially at risk, of whom about five m millions of vulnerable people” and fears a major health crisis that would cause more damage than the earthquake.
Humanitarian organizations are particularly concerned about the spread of cholera, which has reappeared in Syria.