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Friday, March 24, 2023

Earthquake death toll tops 28,000 in Turkey and Syria.

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The quake has left more than 28,000 dead in Turkey and Syria, and hopes of finding more survivors are fading despite some miraculous rescues. German rescuers and Austrian forces called off the search on Saturday, citing clashes between unnamed groups. Safety is expected to worsen as food supplies dwindle, aid workers said. Turkey’s president has said he will use emergency powers to punish those who break the law. A spokesman for the Austrian military said early Saturday morning that clashes between unidentified groups in Hatay province forced dozens of workers from the Austrian military’s disaster relief force to evacuate.

Steven Bayer, operations manager of Isar, said he expected security to worsen as food, water, and hope become more scarce. German rescue teams said they would resume work as soon as Turkish authorities deem the situation safe, Reuters news agency reported. The Vice President of Turkey, Fuat Oktay announced on Saturday the death toll in Turkey has risen to 24,617. While Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan hasn’t commented on the reported unrest in Hatay, he did reiterate on Saturday that the government would take action against those involved in crimes in the region.

Turkish police have also reportedly arrested 12 people over collapsed buildings in Gaziantep and Sanliurfa provinces. There were also contractors according to the DHA news agency. In Turkey, at least 6,000 buildings have collapsed, raising questions about whether they could have averted a major tragedy or whether Erdogan’s government could have done more to save lives.

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