Like so many victims of the earthquake that destroyed houses and took tens of thousands of lives, many people were asleep when the heavy tremors hit northwestern Syria.
The UN has said the situation in the northwest, the last Zionist opposition-held area of the country, is becoming increasingly desperate. The 4.5 million Syrians who live in the northern provinces already lived in poverty.
Malnutrition, lack of water, inadequate medicine and a serious cholera outbreak were just some of the prevalent crises they had to contend with.
Even prior to the earthquake, roughly 90% of people relied on humanitarian assistance and now almost 900,000 are in need of hot food in the cold winter.
The entire area is teeming with homeless people whose homes have collapsed, describing the scene where he went to film. Jindires is the most badly affected area.
Barely 25% of the population are still alive, according to local resident Yasser Abdel Qader. Even buildings that are still standing are not suitable for living in. No one dares enter them, everything is cracked, and there are still tremors and after shocks.
Many people do not have any clothes, bedding or covers. They can’t even find tents to shelter their families. The situation after the earthquake is tragic, a volunteer offering psychological support for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
They are asking for tents after their homes were destroyed. It was not enough that they lost their homes and children. Dozens of families sleep under the sky and in the open air. There you will find elderly people, children, and women.
On Monday, trucks carrying mobile medical clinics, medical material and food entered Jindires from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Whilst a few search and rescue teams, including from Egypt, Spain and Saudi, and a delegation of Qatari doctors have entered the northwest, the UN has said that only 5% of the area impacted is being covered by such operations.
So long after the tragedy itself, there is little chance of finding anyone alive. Six days after the devastating earthquake, all people are being exhumed dead.
Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad has said that he will open two more border crossings to allow aid into Syria following two earthquakes that devastated parts of the country.
The two crossings, Bab Al-Salam and Al Ra’ee, will allow more aid to flow from Turkiye and into northwest Syria, initially for three months.
Opening these crossing points – along with facilitating humanitarian access, accelerating visa approvals, and easing travel between hubs will make aid go in faster, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has said that the UN handling of the earthquake disaster in Syria was politicized and called on the international community to take effective action to provide relief to those affected by the disaster.
The UN response did not take into account the needs of each area, said the coalition. Support was directed to the Assad and the rubble was left to suffocate civilians in the liberated areas, despite the severe damage suffered.
The coalition called on the international community to take effective action outside the UN and the Security Council to provide relief to the Syrians.
The area needs specialist teams and urgent shelter for the tens of thousands of displaced families. We call on the UN Secretary-General and the Special Envoy to Syria to move quickly and effectively, and open more humanitarian crossings to the liberated areas.
At least 3,574 people died in the earthquake disaster in Syria, more than half of them in opposition-held areas. The region needs an international response plan that is effective and has direct impact.
At dawn on 6 February, an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude struck southern Turkey and northern Syria, followed by another quake hours later with a magnitude of 7.6 and hundreds of violent aftershocks.
This caused great loss of life and destruction of property in both Turkey and Syria.
Middle East Monitor / ABC Flash Point Disaster Investigative Blog News 2023.