More than 29,000 killed in powerful earthquakes in Türkiye

More than 29,000 killed in powerful earthquakes in Türkiye

Vice President Fuat Oktay said late Saturday that at least 24,617 people were killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye last Monday. Later on Sunday, this number rose to 29,605, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah, citing the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

The AFAD also said 147,934 others have been evacuated from the region to the other provinces.

Oktay, also announced that Earthquake Crimes Investigation Departments have been established by the prosecutor’s offices under the supervision of the Justice Ministry in the 10 provinces affected by the quakes in the southeast.

He noted the responsibilities of 131 suspects in buildings that collapsed in the quakes were determined – one was arrested and arrest warrants have been issued for 113 others.

The 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude quakes, centered in Kahramanmaraş province, were felt last Monday by 13 million people across 10 provinces, including Adana, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Şanlıurfa.

Some 218,417 search and rescue personnel are working in the field, according to the AFAD.

Meanwhile, Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum said inspections at 171,882 buildings in 10 provinces were conducted.

“We determined that a total of 120,940 structures in 24,921 building complexes collapsed, in need of urgent demolishment, or severely damaged,” he said.

He added that of the number of buildings examined in 10 provinces, 122,279 structures were lightly damaged or undamaged.

After the initial earthquake, an air aid corridor was created by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to deliver search and rescue teams to the region.

A large number of transport aircraft, including A-400Ms, carried search and rescue teams and vehicles to the region. Ambulance planes are also using the air aid corridor.

Parliament approved a three-month state of emergency on Thursday to speed up aid efforts. The country is also observing seven days of national mourning in the wake of the disaster, which ends on Sunday evening.

Condolences have poured in from around the world expressing solidarity with Türkiye, with many countries sending rescue teams and aid.