Turkey ends earthquake rescue efforts except in two provinces, says official

Search for survivors will continue in the hardest hit regions, Kahramanmaras and Hatay

By AFP

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A family search their collapsed home for personal belongings in the rubble, in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake, in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, February 18, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
A family search their collapsed home for personal belongings in the rubble, in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake, in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, February 18, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Published: Sun 19 Feb 2023, 5:26 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Feb 2023, 5:57 PM

Turkey has ended rescue efforts in all provinces except the two hardest hit by last week's massive quake that killed tens of thousands of people, the Turkish disaster agency said Sunday.

"In many of our provinces, search and rescue efforts have been completed. They continue in Kahramanmaras and Hatay provinces," the agency's chief Yunus Sezer told reporters in Ankara.

The epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 was in Pazarcik district in Kahramanmaras.

Sezer said search and rescue efforts continued at around 40 buildings in the provinces on the 14th day, but expected this number to fall by Sunday evening.

The agency head also said Turkey's death toll had risen to 40,689. The total death toll including Syria is now 44,377.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Saturday that some 105,000 buildings either collapsed, needed to be demolished or were severely damaged in the quake.

There had been breathless coverage since the quake of rescue teams finding survivors.

That has since slowed down with no survivors found in at least 24 hours.

On Saturday, rescuers found a man and a woman alive in the 296th hour in the southern Turkish city of Antakya but their three children did not survive, local media said.

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