February 9, 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake news

By Tara Subramaniam, Sana Noor Haq, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Matt Meyer, Maureen Chowdhury, Tori B. Powell and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 1:47 AM ET, Fri February 10, 2023
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8:43 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

The hope of finding survivors alive is fading, Syrian volunteer organization says

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq

Members of the Syria Civil Defense work to rescue a trapped boy under a destroyed building in the city of Jandairis on February 8.
Members of the Syria Civil Defense work to rescue a trapped boy under a destroyed building in the city of Jandairis on February 8. (Anas Alkharboutli/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, said they have been working nonstop for more than 90 hours "in very difficult circumstances," to rescue people trapped under rubble following the deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria Monday.

The volunteer organization said they would continue rescue operations in the affected areas of opposition-controlled northern Syria into Friday. However, the organization tweeted a warning that the hope of finding survivors is now "fading." 

The impacted areas include the countryside of Aleppo in northern Syria and the countryside of Idlib in northeastern Syria.

7:31 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

South Korea’s president offers condolence at the Turkish embassy, says more rescue teams are coming

From CNN's Gawon Bae in South Korea 

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during an interview at the presidential office in Seoul, South Korea, on January 10.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during an interview at the presidential office in Seoul, South Korea, on January 10. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the Turkish embassy in Seoul on Thursday to offer his condolences to the victims of the devastating earthquake that left thousands dead in Turkey and Syria.

“South Korea will do its best to help the people of Turkey to overcome the frustration and sorrow,” Yoon said to the Turkish ambassador, according to the president's spokesperson Lee Do-woon.

Yoon said in addition to the South Korean rescue team that was dispatched to Turkey to aid in the rescue efforts, additional personnel would be sent later for rotation purposes, Lee said.

Turkish Ambassador Murat Tamer thanked South Korea for helping Turkey during difficult times and conveyed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's thanks and regards to Yoon.

The presidential office, including Yoon, gathered and sent 32,610,000 KRW ($25,880) of disaster relief to the Korean National Red Cross for Turkey and Syria, according to the office. 

6:37 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

Ukrainian rescuers arrive in Turkey to help after deadly earthquakes

From CNN’s Philip Wang

A team of rescuers from the Ukrainian State Emergency Service does a search and rescue operation in Antakya, Turkey on February 9.
A team of rescuers from the Ukrainian State Emergency Service does a search and rescue operation in Antakya, Turkey on February 9. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine)

A team of rescuers from the Ukrainian State Emergency Service has begun its search and rescue operations in Antakya, Turkey, after arriving in the city on Thursday, according to the agency’s Facebook page. 

Images show that the rescuers have set up a tent camp and have started looking for survivors under the rubble in designated areas in Hatay Province. 

This week: The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers announced Tuesday the country planned to send 87 emergency rescue staff to Turkey to assist with relief efforts.

Meanwhile, in Kyiv, people placed flowers and candles at the Turkish Embassy to pay respects to the victims of the earthquake. 

CNN's Kostan Nechyporenko and Lauren Kent contributed reporting to this post.

6:28 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

Here's how to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

From CNN staff

More than 21,000 people are dead and tens of thousands are injured after a massive earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria on Monday.

The magnitude 7.8 quake was one of the strongest to strike the area in more than a century. Amid severe aftershocks, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency called for international help.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched "immediate cash assistance” from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to help relief efforts in both countries.

Many other organizations are also on the ground responding. You can help by clicking here.

5:24 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

10-year-old Turkish girl found alive under rubble in 90th hour since the earthquake

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce and Mohammed Tawfeeq

A 10-year-old girl was found alive in the 90th hour since Turkey's earthquake, according to a statement from the Antalya Metropolitan Fire Department on Thursday. The first thing she asked for after her rescue was milk, the statement said.

Hilal Sağlam was trapped underneath the rubble of a building located in the Hatay province. The rescue team "heard the sound from under the rubble" and were able to rescue Sağlam "as a result of a meticulous 7-hour work in the wreckage," the statement added,

"The injured girl, who was taken to the stretcher with great joy and applause, was sent to the hospital for treatment by ambulance," the fire department said.
5:09 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

More than 21,000 people died in the Turkey-Syria earthquakes, officials say

From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Jonny Hallam 

A woman reacts as people bury victims of the deadly earthquake in a cemetery in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, on February 9.
A woman reacts as people bury victims of the deadly earthquake in a cemetery in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, on February 9. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

The death toll following the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday has climbed to at least 21,051, according to authorities.

In Turkey, the death toll has risen to at least 17,674, and the number of injured is 72,879, Vice President Fuat Oktay said Thursday.

In Syria, at least 3,377 people were killed, including 2,030 in rebel-held areas in the northwest, according to the White Helmets civil defense group — and 1,347 deaths in government-controlled parts of Syria, according to Syrian state media. 

The number of injured people in Syria across all affected territories rose to 5,245 —2,295 in government-controlled and 2,950 in the rebel-held area.

At least 78,124 people in Syria and Turkey were injured following the quakes, according to figures from the Turkish government, the White Helmets and Syrian state media.

4:53 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

Residents of Gaziantep face uncertain future after homes destroyed

From Louai Al-Absi in Gaziantep

After a devastating earthquake upended the lives of thousands of people in Turkey and Syria, many have expressed uncertainty about what's next for them.

In the city of Gaziantep, in the southeast of Turkey, many people -- whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged – have found refuge at a camp located in a public park in the city center.

Here are some of their stories:

Sinan Demir, a 45-year-old blacksmith from Gaziantep, said his neighborhood was destroyed after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the region. He had to go to a basketball club for shelter for three days before he came to the park. Demir is married and has four children. His elderly father lives with them.

He said he does not know when he will leave the camp because his house needs repair, and he called on the Turkish government to expedite the repair of damaged homes.

Mustafa Oso, a 35-year-old Syrian, came to Turkey several years ago and lives in Gaziantep. Before the earthquake, he lived with his family and brothers, but when the second quake took place on Tuesday, the building next to their home was demolished and his house became uninhabitable.

Oso said he wants to eventually move to Europe.

Mehmat Aslan, 81, lives alone after his wife died and his children traveled to Germany. The earthquake destroyed his home, and he is now staying in a cafeteria.

4:21 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

New York family killed in building collapse in Turkey earthquake

From CNN’s David Williams and Gloria Pazmino 

A New York family visiting relatives in Turkey was among the thousands of people killed in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria Monday.

Burak Firik, a former board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations New York Chapter (CAIR-NY), was killed along with his wife Kimberly and their sons Hamza, 2, and Bilal, 1, CAIR-NY Legal Director Ahmed M. Mohamed told CNN.

The family was in an apartment building located in the Kahramanmaraş region of Turkey — the epicenter of Monday’s deadly earthquake, according to Mohamed. The apartment building collapsed during the quake.

Mohamed said he’d known Firik since 2019 and last talked to him a few months ago before he went to Turkey to be with his father, who was having open-heart surgery.

“He was a very active individual in his community, a pillar for his family, pillar for the Muslim community, the Turkish-American community and really, he was a servant leader who put his faith into action,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed said Firik was interested in computers and technology, studied the markets and enjoyed reading – he’d made it a goal to read a book every day. Mohamed added that Firik "was a family man" who loved his family.

“That’s really the reason he was in Turkey was to be with his family.”

He said he’s been in touch with Kimberly’s family.

“They’re obviously devastated and heartbroken,” Mohamed said. “I think they’re a very close-knit family. They care deeply for each other."

He said it was very sad that the family died together.

“As Muslims, we believe that they’re reunited in heaven together,” Mohamed said. “I know that he's looking down on us and what he and his family probably would want is to make sure that we provide as much humanitarian aid as possible to those who are suffering right now and need it.”
4:04 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

Days after the quake, rescue teams still finding survivors, including a young girl

From CNN's Hande Atay Alam, Jennifer Z. Deaton and Isil Sariyuce 

Rescues continue across the 10 provinces of Turkey impacted by Monday's deadly earthquake.

Three girls between the ages of 5 and 10 were found alive under the debris during a search-and-rescue operation in Kahramanmaras on Thursday, according to CNN's sister network CNN Turk

One of the girls was pulled from beneath the rubble in the 89th hour since the earthquake struck, CNN Turk reported.

The girl only appeared to have light scratches, the CNN Turk reporter said, describing the operation as a "miracle rescue operation."

The other two girls are in communication with the search-and-rescue team but are still trapped, as efforts to pull them free continue, according to CNN Turk.

In Adiyaman, a 17-year-old girl, Gulsum Yesilkaya, was saved Thursday after a 27-hour rescue operation, according to CNN Turk. She was taken directly to the ambulance, CNN Turk reported. 

Yigit Akar, 23, was also rescued on Thursday, according to Turkey state news Anadolu agency. He was trapped underneath the rubble of a building in Gaziantep's Islahiye district in the Camlica neighborhood, Anadolu reported.