The misery of war-weary Syrians is exacerbated by a an earthquake that is deadly
An unstoppable stream of wounded were rushing into an overcrowded health facility located in Darkush in the northwestern region of rebel-held Syria on Monday after an earthquake of devastating magnitude struck the region. Mothers stood over crying children.
Within the chaos, a man was sitting with a confused expression, his face strewn by abrasions.
This man Osama Abdul Hamid was barely alive, along with his spouse and four kids from his home in the village nearby of Azmarin. A lot of their neighbors weren’t as fortunate.
“The building has four floors, and of the three nobody got out,” Abdul Hamid said and broke down in tears. “God has given me a new perspective on my life.”
The massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck just before sunrise on Monday brought new destruction and pain in Syria’s enclave that is a rebel-held area that was already devastated through years of war and bombing as well as housing billions of Syrians who left home during the civil war in Syria.
Clinics and hospitals were overflowing with wounded. In the enclave of Idlib, which is within Idlib province, the majority of the people who have been displaced are living in squalid conditions in camps that are essentially made-of-scrap. Others in the enclave and nearby areas controlled by the government are housed in buildings that were damaged by bombings, and are now susceptible to earthquake-related shocks.
The quake did total and partial damage to structures in at least 58 towns, villages and cities in northwestern Syria According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights an organization based in Britain that monitors war.
More than 1300 people were killed in Turkey and Syria and Turkey, with the death toll likely to rise. In the territory controlled by the opposition in Syria there were more than 100 people killed however, hundreds of others are believed to have been put to rest beneath the debris of their homes.
“This catastrophe will only increase those suffering Syrians who are already facing an acute humanitarian crisis,” Carsten Hansen, the regional director for the Middle East at the Norwegian Refugee Council announced in an announcement. “Millions have been forced to leave due to war across the region, and thousands more are likely to be forced out by the calamity.”
In the hospital of Darkush in the west of Idlib, Abdel Hamid told the story of how his family was asleep in their home at the time they were shaken awake by a rumbling that lasted for a long time. They fled the house however “before we got to the front entrance to this building the entire building fell upon us” Abdel Hamid said.
Misery of war-weary Syrians exacerbated by deadly earthquake https://t.co/OYjTGBpQyZ
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) February 6, 2023
A wooden door kept them from the heaviest impact of the collapse. They all emerged alive. The husband and wife, as well as three children sustained head injuries, but are in good health.
The magnitude of the deaths quickly exceeded the hospital’s resources, said Majdi al-Ibrahim who is a general doctor at the hospital.
“We require urgent assistance. The threat is far beyond our capabilities,” he said.
The Syrian American Medical Society, which manages hospital facilities in north Syria along with southern Turkey and southern Turkey, stated in a statement that their hospitals are “overwhelmed by patients lining the corridors” and demanded urgently “trauma equipment and an extensive emergency response to help save lives and treat wounded patients.”
The territory of the opposition located in northwest Syria has been able to hold for a long time, even though Syrian government forces recaptured the majority of regions occupied by rebels across the country.
The conflict continues to rage occasionally with Russian-backed Syrian forces in close proximity. Some areas of the region are controlled by rebel factions, which include the most prominent al-Qaida-linked militants as well as parts under the administration of a Turkish-backed regime called” the Syrian Interim Government.
The tragedy came after severe winter storms that added to the hardship of those without shelter.
“There is rain, and the temperature is extremely cold. There’s snow in certain regions,” Abdel Hakim al-Masri, economic minister of the regional administration backed by Turkish was quoted by The Associated Press. He said that certain camps for displacement within the region were devastated by the earthquake.
“There is a lot of suffering and this is likely to increase,” he said.