The number of people who lost their lives in the 6 February earthquakes in Turkey has risen to 43,556, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Thursday.
Speaking on a TRT News live broadcast, Soylu argued that the authorities had been preparing for the earthquake for a long time and he did not think that any other country’s government could have overcome the disaster of such an earthquake.
Soylu said that only two buildings with bodies under the rubble were left in the southern province of Hatay. The search efforts in the other destroyed buildings have ended. However, according to reports from the region, there are many earthquake survivors who have not yet found their relatives and believe that their bodies are still under the rubble.
In addition, some survivors who were noticed and rescued by the attention of the digger operators, were found under the rubble where debris removal operations had started.
A total of 448 health workers died and 528 were injured in the earthquakes, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Thursday.
In Hatay, two state hospitals collapsed during the earthquakes. It was revealed that the earthquake resistance test report of the collapsed Iskenderun district State Hospital came back negative in 2012, but despite this, the hospital continued to operate in the same building.
The Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change Ministry has so far identified 164,321 collapsed or heavily damaged buildings that need urgent demolition in damage assessment operations in the quake-hit provinces, Minister Murat Kurum announced.