These Syrians had already endured years of suffering. Then there was a massive earthquake

More than 1,300 people have been killed in Turkey and Syria, and the death toll is expected to rise. More than 100 people have been reported dead in opposition-held territory in Syria, but hundreds more are believed to have been buried under the rubble of their homes.

“This disaster will worsen the suffering of Syrians who are already grappling with a serious humanitarian crisis,” said Carsten Hansen, Middle East director at the Norwegian Refugee Council, in a statement. “Millions have already been displaced by war in the wider region, and now many more are being displaced by disasters.”

At the hospital in Darkush, western Idlib, Abdel Hamid told how his family was asleep in their apartment when they were awakened by strong, prolonged shaking. They ran out of the apartment, but “before we reached the door of the building, the whole building collapsed on us,” he said.

A wooden door protected them from the worst force of the collapse – they all got out alive. He and his wife and three of the children suffered head injuries, but all are in stable condition.


The scale of the casualties quickly overwhelmed the hospital’s resources, said Majdi al-Ibrahim, a general surgeon at the hospital.

“We urgently need help. The danger is beyond our capacities,” he said.

The Syrian American Medical Society, which runs hospitals in northern Syria and southern Turkey, said in a statement that its facilities are “overwhelmed with patients filling the hallways” and urged “trauma care and comprehensive emergency response to save lives and improve health.” treat injured”.

Opposition territory in north-west Syria has held out for years, even after Syrian government forces retook most of the rebel-held areas across the country.

Fighting with Russian-backed Syrian forces still occurs nearby from time to time. Parts of the territory are ruled by rebel groups, including a dominant al-Qaeda-linked militant faction, while parts are under a Turkish-backed administration known as the Syrian Interim Government.

The disaster followed severe winter storms that further aggravated the misery of the homeless.

“It’s raining and the weather is very cold, with snow in some areas,” said Abdel Hakim al-Masri, economy minister of the Turkey-backed regional administration. He noted that some of the displacement camps in the area had been decimated by the quake.

“There’s a huge amount of suffering and that’s going to increase it,” he said.

AP These Syrians had already endured years of suffering. Then there was a massive earthquake

Callan Tansill

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