Dozens of people have been left injured in north Syria after a new earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 centre near the southern Turkish city of Antakya hit the already battered region on Monday night.
In northwestern Syria, at least 130 people were injured, mainly due to the panic caused by the tremor, according to the civil defence group the White Helmets. Many people were trampled when rushing to safety and some fainted from fear, the group said.
Meanwhile, six people were injured in Aleppo by falling debris, according to Syrian state news agency SANA.
The earthquake further damaged buildings in the country that had been already weakened by the twin earthquakes of 6 February which killed 4,525 people in the northwest of the country and the destruction caused by the 12 year civil war.
Meanwhile, the delivery of post-disaster humanitarian aid to Syria picked up speed on Monday, although international organisations active in the region state that local authorities in northwest Syria are still blocking aid convoys.
The Damascus government last week was persuaded to open two more border crossings with Turkey to allow more aid to reach to the northwest of the country.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Monday that 197 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid had entered northwest Syria through two border crossings.
The UN convoys on Monday used the al-Ra’ee border crossing into northern Aleppo.
“Aid in the impacted areas remains a top priority, as thousands of people remain in collective shelters across Latakia, Homs, Hama and Aleppo,” said Stephanie Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General on Monday.
“The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Development Programme and UN Habitat are helping conduct assessments of structural damage to buildings,” Dujarric added.
The assessments of UN agencies will help determine homes that are safe for returning, while the organisation has also been preparing plans for long-term humanitarian aid.
“Funding remains essential for the wider earthquake response. As of today the Syria Flash Appeal is 17 percent funded with $68.5 million received towards the $329.1 million plan,” Dujarric said.
As post-disaster relief efforts have been scaling up in northwest Syria, the Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on also announced that 14 of its trucks entered northwestern Syria on Sunday.
The European Union (EU) warned on Monday against viral spread of food and water-borne diseases, respiratory infections, and vaccine-preventable infections in the coming weeks in areas in Turkey and Syria impacted by earthquakes.
The damage of the earthquakes can increase the transmission of food-and waterborne diseases, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Lack of access to clean water and food had already been limited n northern Syria due to damaged infrastructure after years of war. The region was already trying to control a cholera outbreak, before the twin earthquakes of February 6.