The Tragic Consequences of the 1939 Erzincan-Erzurum Earthquake: 37,000 Lives Lost in Turkey and Syria

It has been a week and a day since the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and affected parts of Syria, in one of the worst natural disasters in history.

The death toll has risen to around 37,000 between the two countries amid ongoing rescue operations to find survivors despite hopes in decline.

Thousands of victims

Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority said the country’s earthquake death toll had risen to 31,643.

In turn, the White Helmets rescue organization in opposition-held areas in northwestern Syria said on Monday that the death toll from the earthquake in the region had reached 2,274 people.

The organization said the number of injured exceeded 12,400 and that these numbers depend on data that has also been examined by medical sources.

As for relief operations, United Nations Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths confirmed that the phase of the withdrawal of survivors is nearing its end, underlining the urgent need to provide shelter, food, education and psychological and social assistance.

He stressed that the United Nations would work to transfer aid from government-held areas to opposition-held areas in the northwest, where the devastating earthquake also inflicted heavy losses.

26 million affected

Interestingly, the World Health Organization announced on Saturday that the number of people affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria this week reached about 26 million people.

The United Nations organization has launched an urgent appeal to raise $42.8 million to help it meet urgent and critical health needs.