February 10, 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake news

By Tara Subramaniam, Aditi Sangal, Leinz Vales, Adrienne Vogt and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:09 a.m. ET, February 11, 2023
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11:01 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

"Tens of thousands of families are currently homeless all over northwest Syria," White Helmets volunteer says

From CNN's Ruba Alhenawi

Hundreds of thousands of people in Syria have been left homeless in the middle of winter following Monday's deadly earthquakes. Across northwestern Syria — where temperatures are below freezing — many people are staying in makeshift shelters, mosques and in the ruins of destroyed buildings.

Mousa Zidane, a volunteer with the “White Helmets,” officially known as Syria Civil Defense, told CNN on Thursday that in the aftermath of the quakes, "tens of thousands of families are currently homeless all-over northwest Syria."

"Hundreds of families in Idlib are sleeping in their cars, public parks, and streets," after their homes were destroyed, Zidane said. "Even those who still have homes, they are scared to spend the night indoors, they briefly go to their homes during the day then they leave at night out of fear [of further earthquakes]."

Zidane said the cold weather is adding to the catastrophe, as rescue teams struggle to extract people from under the rubble.

"We need help searching for survivors and pulling the dead from under collapsed buildings. We urgently need to help homeless families by providing shelters, food, cloths and vital essentials," Zidane said.

People need their homes back and their dead "pulled out and buried," Zidane added. 

When asked about diggers, Zidane said they were not initially available, but a limited number are now working to clear the debris. "Not enough to cover the whole area. We need more," he said. 

Zidane said there is limited access to aid that doesn't cover people's needs in northwest Syria, much of which is controlled by anti-government rebels amid a humanitarian crisis resulting from Syria's more than decade-long civil war. 

"We are feeling, again, like we are abandoned by the world. We are feeling like the world let us down, again, because no one came and helped us with our catastrophe," Zidane said in a tweeted video.
11:44 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

Monday's earthquake was one of the deadliest in 2 decades

With the death toll in Turkey and Syria surpassing 21,000, the earthquake has now marked a grim milestone — it's in the top 10 of deadliest quakes over the past 20 years.

A number of factors have contributed to making this earthquake so lethal. One of them is the time of day it occurred. With the quake hitting early in the morning, many people were in their beds when it happened, and are now trapped under the rubble of their homes.

Additionally, with a cold and wet weather system moving through the region, poor conditions have made reaching affected areas trickier, and rescue and recovery efforts on both sides of the border significantly more challenging once teams have arrived.

The 7.8 magnitude quake earlier this week struck 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

8:38 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

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

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq

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.

7:30 a.m. ET, February 10, 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 affiliate 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's state-run Anadolu news agency. He was trapped underneath the rubble of a building in Gaziantep's Islahiye district in the Camlica neighborhood, Anadolu reported. 

7:30 a.m. ET, February 10, 2023

Turkish girl, 10, 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.

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.

The first thing she asked for after her rescue was milk, the statement said.

8:40 p.m. ET, February 9, 2023

US providing $85 million for humanitarian aid to those affected by quake in Turkey and Syria

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

The United States will provide $85 million for humanitarian assistance to those impacted by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

“This new funding is supporting USAID’s humanitarian partners to deliver urgently-needed aid for millions of people in Türkiye and in Syria,” the US Agency for International Development said in a press release Thursday.

The aid includes food and shelter for refugees and those who've been displaced, as well as winter supplies to help people in the bitterly cold temperatures, trauma support, clean drinking water and sanitation assistance. 

USAID has deployed a disaster assistance response team, which is made up of 200 people and 12 dogs, and is operating out of the cities of Adiyaman, Adana and Ankara.

6:20 a.m. ET, February 10, 2023

In reversal, Ghana soccer star Christian Atsu is "yet to be found," says agent

From CNN's Zayn Nabbi, Sammy Mngqosini and Darren Lewis

Christian Atsu during the Newcastle United training session in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 2021.
Christian Atsu during the Newcastle United training session in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 2021. (Serena Taylor/Newcastle United/Getty Images)

The agent of Ghanaian soccer star Christian Atsu says the player’s whereabouts are still not known, reversing course just a few days after telling CNN Sport that the Hatayspor winger was rescued from rubble after being caught in the earthquakes that struck southern Turkey.

“I am currently in Istanbul. The situation remains the same, Christian Atsu is yet to be found. Unless I see Christian, or speak with him, I have no further updates,” Nana Sechere said on social media on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Sechere tweeted that it had come to light, contrary to prior reports, that Atsu was still missing.

“Following yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) update from the club that Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts. As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian,” he said.

Sechere had originally told CNN on Tuesday that he had “official confirmation” from Hatayspor that Atsu “was in hospital and that he is stable.”

In a WhatsApp message to CNN on Thursday, Sechere said that “every update that I have provided has come from my communications with the club, the British Consulate in Istanbul, the Ghana Consulate, The Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Turkish Football Federation.

“I am still unable to locate Christian. All my efforts are focused on finding him.”

Read more here.