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Thursday, March 23, 2023

After the earthquake, anger rises as trapped bodies block roads.

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The bodies of those killed in Monday’s southern Turkey earthquake are left on the streets as the search for survivors continues. More than 7,000 people are known to have died in Turkey and northern Syria. The United Nations has warned that thousands of children may be among the dead. The subsequent quake was of about the same magnitude, with its epicenter in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in the 10 provinces hardest hit by the earthquake.

He said the measures would allow relief workers and financial aid into the affected regions but did not give further details. Around 70 countries are sending aid to Turkey, but there is growing anger in some places that help is not arriving fast enough. In the city of Antakya, some of the dead were left laid out on the pavement for hours as rescue workers and ambulances struggled to cope with the scale of the disaster.

Family members of those missing combed through the rubble looking for their loved ones. A group of men using sledgehammers and other tools found the bodies of a man and a young girl who were trapped. They called official rescuers to use their power tools to help, but they said they had to concentrate on living.

The northwest in particular is one of the most difficult to reach with only a small border crossing on the Turkish border available for transporting resources to opposition-controlled areas. The United Nations said Tuesday it was temporarily suspending aid shipments to Syria, citing damage to the route but there is no clear outlook on when it will resume. Syria’s UN special envoy said any help must come from within the country, not across its border with Turkey, and people in opposition-held areas said aid was withheld for political reasons.

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