Home Europe In pictures: Two weeks of despair, destruction and hope after Turkey-Syria earthquake

In pictures: Two weeks of despair, destruction and hope after Turkey-Syria earthquake

by editor

Search and rescue efforts are starting to wind down in Turkey and Syria, two weeks after the devastating 7.8 earthquake that killed more than 44,700 people.

On Saturday morning, rescue workers in Hatay, Turkey pulled three members of one family – including a 12-year-old who later died – from the rubble, making them the last people dug out alive. 

According to the United Nations, the full scope of the devastation, including the number of dead, caused by the earthquake will take more time to assess in neighbouring Syria.

Since the natural disaster, pictures of destruction, despair and hope have travelled across the globe, sparking solidarity with the earthquake’s victims. 

These are some of those images

Some 105,794 buildings in Tukey were destroyed or will need to be demolished after the earthquake and its 6,040 aftershocks, according to the country’s Environment and Urbanization Ministry.

In Antakya, one of the worst-hit parts of the country, at least 80% of its buildings are set to be demolished. 

In Syria, the hardest hit area was its rebel-controlled northwest region, making it hard for the international community to get aid to people in desperate need of help. 

In some parts of earthquake-hit Turkey, rescue workers only arrived at the scene days after the initial disaster – leading some people to use their bare hands to try to dig their loved ones out of the rubble.

And some international volunteers who rushed to Turkey after the earthquake reported that they were forced to wait for authorisation to start working or that equipment was slow to arrive.

In Syria, two new border crossings were opened to help aid reach rebel-controlled areas a week after the earthquake – a delay that the UN has called “deadly”.

But some critics argued that the UN should have used additional crossings to get aid into rebel-controlled areas without waiting for Damascus’ approval or found an alternative way to get aid to the area.

Human Rights Watch added that millions of people in Syria were forced to go without search-and-rescue teams or aid after the natural disaster. 

But amidst the destruction, there were also brief glimpses of hope, such as when a baby girl was born under the rubble. 

Or the story of a two-month-old baby, a two-year-old girl and a pregnant woman all rescued five days after the earthquake.  

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