Major earthquake in northwest Syria kills and injures more than 1400 people.
The White Helmets declared a state of emergency in northwest Syria after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the region. The quake resulted in at least 385 deaths and over 1,000 injuries in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, where numerous buildings collapsed. The already dire situation in the area is exacerbated by poor infrastructure, freezing weather conditions, and scarce resources.
A major earthquake with a magnitude 7.8 struck northwest Syria, killing hundreds of people and injuring more than 1400 others as buildings collapsed across the region. The earthquake hit at 4:17am local time (01:17 GMT) on Monday (6 February), as people were sleeping, at a depth of about 17.9km (11 miles).
In northwest Syria at least 385 people died and 1011 injured in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, where many buildings have collapsed. Searches for survivors in the rubble are ongoing, however, the death toll is likely to rise over the next few hours and days as people are remain stuck under the rubble of more than 149 completely destroyed buildings and 327 partially destroyed buildings.
This major disaster comes at a time when the situation is already dire in northwest Syria with thousands of families are already homeless and struggling to survive in the freezing winter temperatures. The White Helmets declared state of emergency in northwest Syria following the catastrophic earthquake that has caused destruction, devastation, and collapse of buildings and whole residential areas. All White Helmets volunteers have been deployed to assist those in need and are working at maximum capacity. While no White Helmets staff been injured, many of their family members in both Syria and Turkey have been directly affected by the earthquake and remain trapped under the rubble.
The volunteers have rescued hundreds of civilians, including women and children, from under collapsed buildings and they are still working to rescue many more people who remain trapped. The work is hampered by the wide geographical distribution of the earthquake and the resulting damage throughout northwest Syria. The largest numbers of people affected are in Idlib, Sarmada, Jisr al-Shughur, Harem, Salqin, al-Dana, al-Atarib, Termanin, Atmeh, and Jandires. White Helmets buildings, warehouses and equipment have also sustained material damage. However, our priority remains rescuing people from under the rubble. The full extent of the material damage to buildings and supplies will be assessed once rescue efforts are complete.
There is an urgent need for additional search and rescue equipment, heavy equipment, spare parts and fuel due to the number of collapsed buildings and to the damage to existing equipment. White Helmets equipment and supplies are not currently sufficient to meet these urgent needs. The White Helmets calls on all humanitarian organizations and international donors to provide material support and to help organizations responding to this disaster and to urgently assist victims of the earthquake.