Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 7 declared a state of emergency for three months in 10 southeastern provinces hit by two major earthquakes.
“We are facing one of the biggest disasters not only of our republic, but also of our geography and the world,” Erdoğan said while announcing the state of emergency.
10 provinces include Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Malatya, Adıyaman, Adana, Diyarbakır, Kilis and Şanlıurfa.
“Our state has started to work in disaster areas with all its institutions, personnel, and intermediaries. Currently, our 53,317 search and rescue officers and support personnel are working in the area. This number is increasing with additional teams coming from home and abroad,” Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan said Turkey received offers of assistance from 70 different countries and 14 international organizations as Qatar is preparing to send 10 thousand containers.
The initial earthquake at a magnitude of 7.7 struck southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş's Pazarcık district on Feb. 6 at 4:17 a.m. local time. The second earthquake at a magnitude of 7.6 struck Kahramanmaraş's Elbistan district at 1.24 p.m. local time on the same day.
As of Feb. 7 evening, at least 5,434 people were killed and more than 31,000 people were injured due to quakes, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated.
Turkey’s Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced on Feb. 7 that 5,775 buildings collapsed as a result of the quakes.
Five million people live in the region affected by the earthquake. The population of the ten affected Turkish provinces exceeds 13 million.
“Many personnel from the police forces and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were assigned to rescue operations,” Erdoğan noted.
“I invite our citizens and business community who want to help heal the wounds of the earthquake to donate to AFAD accounts,” he added.
On Feb. 6, Erdoğan declared 7-day national mourning due to the quakes.