After earthquakes in Turkey, Syria, rescue workers search for survivors
After the worst earthquake in decades in the Syrian-Turkish border region, rescue workers are searching for survivors under the rubble of thousands of houses. The quake has killed and injured thousands.
Shock in the middle of the night
This apartment building in Diyarbakir is one of several thousand buildings destroyed by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the Turkish-Syrian border region. The disaster struck when most people where still sleeping at 4:17 a.m. local time on Monday morning.
Countless houses reduced to rubble
In Turkey alone, authorities reported thousands of dead and many more injured. At least 2,800 buildings were destroyed — like this one in Kahramanmaras.
Rescue attempts 'with bare hands'
Civilians and official rescue workers, like here in Adana, are searching the collapsed buildings for people trapped under the rubble. Eyewitnesses have reported that helpers are digging "with their bare hands" to reach survivors. The region was shaken by more than 50 aftershocks. The strongest aftershock, with a magnitude of 7.5, occurred on Monday afternoon.
Devastation in northern Syria
The northern Syrian province of Idlib has also been severely affected. Monday's earthquake is one of the most devastating to hit the region in decades, and it's hitting areas already badly scarred by the country's civil war.
'Whole families are still buried' in Idlib
"People in Idlib poured out of their houses, they were in panic," a local reporter in Sarmada, Syria, told DW. "Shortly after, the first houses collapsed, which were already not in good condition before as a result of Russian airstrikes, but newer buildings also collapsed. Whole families are still buried."
White Helmets in action
The White Helmets, founded during the Syrian civil war, are participating in recovery efforts in rebel-held areas in northwestern Syria. These two men were searching for survivors in Zardana. By midday on Monday, more than 780 people were reported dead across Syria, and at least 2,200 people were injured in the disaster.
Heritage buildings destroyed
Cultural treasures were also destroyed in the earthquake. In the Turkish province of Maltaya, the famous 13th-century Yeni Mosque was severely damaged. A winter storm is further complicating rescue work in the region. Turkey has officially asked its NATO partners and the European Union for support in the rescue and recovery work.
Regions need help
Numerous countries — even Ukraine — have offered aid. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the press that emergency aid had been arranged and that the first aid supplies were already on their way to the disaster region, including emergency shelters and water treatment plants.
Container port in flames
The Turkish port city of Iskenderun was hit particularly hard by the quake. Thousands of containers collapsed as a result of the tremors, some of them catching fire, and a huge column of smoke still stands above the city the day after the quakes.
Rescue efforts also continue in the rubble of the Iskenderun hospital, which partially collapsed on Monday, and aid workers continue to recover survivors from the rubble.
The Red Crescent relief organization began coordinating aid shipments to the destroyed areas on Monday. Here, a plane is prepared at a military airport near Baghdad to fly aid supplies to Syria.
Donations for the victims
International solidarity is huge. This Turkish cultural center in The Hague collects private donations for those affected in Turkey.
Search and rescue
Several countries have sent search and rescue specialists to the region. On Tuesday, a German ISAR (International Search and Rescue) team arrived in Gaziantep. The 42 experts and their seven sniffer dogs are heading to the heavily damaged town of Kirikhan near the Turkish-Syrian border.