Over 34,000 dead from quake in Turkey and Syria

By Andrew Raine, Rhea Mogul, Matt Meyer and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 5:51 a.m. ET, February 13, 2023
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4:33 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Girl, age 10, rescued from under rubble in Turkey after 147 hours 

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce in Istanbul

A 10-year-old girl was rescued from under rubble in southern Turkey's Hatay province 147 hours after Monday's devastating earthquake struck the region, according to the Istanbul municipality. 

Video shared by the municipality with CNN showed search and rescue teams pulling the girl, named Cudi, from the rubble and transporting her on a stretcher. 

"Cudi is our beloved. Beloved Cudi," a person in the video was heard saying, along with "Hallelujah!"

Another survivor, a 35-year-old man identified as Mustafa Sarıgül, was rescued from the ruins of a six-story apartment building in the same province on Sunday.

The death toll across Turkey and Syria has reached at least 28,192, with 24,617 in Turkey alone.

3:32 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Man rescued from under rubble in Turkey after 149 hours

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce in Istanbul

Medics carry Mustafa Sarıgül in a stretcher after spending 149 hours under rubble in Turkey's Hatay region on Sunday.
Medics carry Mustafa Sarıgül in a stretcher after spending 149 hours under rubble in Turkey's Hatay region on Sunday. (Mustafa Yilmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A 35-year-old man was rescued from under the rubble of a collapsed building in southern Turkey's Hatay province 149 hours after the powerful earthquake struck the region, Turkish state-news agency Anadolu reported.

The man, identified as Mustafa Sarıgül, was found among the ruins of a six-story apartment building during scans.

Search and rescue teams, as well as military personnel and members of the Romanian search and rescue team, worked for five hours to save the man.

The death toll across Turkey and Syria following Monday’s earthquake stands at 28,192 as of Sunday morning.

12:37 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

At least 98 people arrested in Turkey over alleged looting, robbery or defrauding earthquake victims

From CNN's Alex Stambaugh

At least 98 people were arrested on Saturday by Turkish security forces over the alleged looting of damaged buildings, robbery or defrauding victims of last week's devastating earthquake, Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

According to security sources, who wished to remain anonymous "due to media restrictions," investigations were carried out into at least 42 suspects in Turkey's southern Hatay province over claims of looting damaged buildings, Anadolu reported.

At least 40 suspects were arrested and security teams seized six guns, three rifles, jewelry, bank cards, $11,000 and 70,000 Turkish lira (around $3,700) in cash, state news reported citing the sources.

Two other people were also arrested after posing as aid workers and allegedly trying to loot six truckloads of food for quake victims in Hatay province, the agency said.

At least six people were also arrested in Istanbul over allegedly defrauding a victim of the earthquake in southern Gaziantep by phone, Anadolu said.

Elsewhere in the country, dozens of other suspects were arrested for alleged looting and robbery in quake-hit areas, Anadolu said.

The suspects had been arrested across at least eight provinces including Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Adana, Gaziantep, and Sanliurfa, it added.

12:40 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Anonymous man in US walked into Turkish embassy and donated $30 million to quake victims, Pakistani PM says

From CNN’s Sahar Akbarzai

An anonymous man in the United States has donated $30 million to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, according to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who tweeted the news on Saturday. 

“Deeply moved by the example of an anonymous Pakistani who walked into the Turkish embassy in the US and donated $30 million for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria," the prime minister tweeted.

"These are such glorious acts of philanthropy that enable humanity to triumph over the seemingly insurmountable odds,” Sharif added.  

Anadolu Agency, one of Turkey's state-run media channels, confirmed the news.

CNN has reached out to the embassy for comment.  

12:09 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Man in viral photo holding hand of daughter stuck in rubble in Turkey says she had no chance to escape

From CNN's Talia Kayali and Karen Smith

Mesut Hancer holds the hand of his 15-year-old daughter Irmak, who was killed in the earthquake.
Mesut Hancer holds the hand of his 15-year-old daughter Irmak, who was killed in the earthquake. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

A father who was photographed holding the hand of his 15-year-old daughter under earthquake rubble in Kahramanmaras this week said she died at the moment of the earthquake with no chance to escape.

Speaking to CNN Turk on Saturday, Mesut Hancer said he lost other family members in the earthquake including his mother, two older brothers and one sister-in-law.

Hancer said he was able to get to his daughter three days after the earthquake. She had been visiting her paternal grandmother in Kahramanmaras.

“It was very bad. I went there just as soon as I heard. I tried alone, with my hands to pull my daughter out but unfortunately I couldn’t rescue my daughter,” Hancer told CNN Turk.

He said his daughter’s body above her waist had been outside the rubble but the rest was under the rubble. Authorities were unable to bring a construction lift to help pull out her body and a man helped him dig his daughter’s body out.

Hancer also told CNN Turk he is currently without a home due to the damage that occurred on his house.

12:09 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Italian Defense Minister says aid for Syria being routed through Beirut

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said in a tweet Saturday that aid to Syria was being routed through Beirut, Lebanon. 

"We were the first in Europe to send aid to Syria. (The aid is) transported to Beirut because it was not possible for us to land in Aleppo. Now (it) will reach Damascus and be sorted by the Red Crescent," the tweet read. 

More than 28,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, officials said.

Earlier Saturday, the Italian Government Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a news release, "A new shipment of aid is now departing from Pisa airport and will land in the coming hours in Beirut and then be transferred by land to Syria. It consists of four ambulances and 14 doctors, as well as medicines and medical supplies, offered by the San Donato Group, which will be destined for the Syrian Red Crescent to assist the people in Syria."

Rescue operations are over in rebel-held areas of northwest Syria, the White Helmets volunteer organization said on Friday. Relief efforts there have been complicated by a long-running civil war.

The Syrian government approved sending aid to the rebel-held territories Friday but did not provide specifics.

12:09 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Earthquake death toll exceeds 28,000 across Turkey and Syria

From CNN's Talia Kayali and Raja Razek

The death toll across Turkey and Syria following Monday’s earthquake has reached 28,192.

Turkey’s death toll climbed to 24,617, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said in a news conference Saturday.

In Syria, the total number of confirmed deaths stand at 3,575, including 2,167 in rebel-held areas in the northwest, according to the White Helmets civil defense group. An additional 1,408 deaths have been recorded in government-controlled territories, according to Syrian state media, which cited the country's health ministry.

12:09 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Turkish authorities detain contractors over construction of buildings that collapsed in quake

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London and Isil Saruyuce in Istanbul

Authorities in Turkey have detained a number of individuals responsible for the construction of buildings that collapsed in Monday's catastrophic earthquake, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

Hasan Alpargün, the owner of a company that built buildings destroyed in the city of Adana, was detained in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Saturday, according to Anadolu.

Prosecutors in the city of Adana have issued a detention order for 62 people in relation to an investigation into the buildings destroyed by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

Mehmet Yaşar Coşkun, who Anadolu said is the contractor for Rönesans Residence, a block of high-rise luxury flats that collapsed in Hatay Province, was also arrested on Saturday. Coşkun was intercepted by authorities at Istanbul Airport on Friday while attempting to flee to Montenegro, according to Anadolu. 

Contractor İbrahim Mustafa Uncuoğlu was also detained in Istanbul on Saturday over allegedly faulty inspections of the Bahar Apartments, which collapsed in the earthquake epicenter of Gaziantep, the news agency said.

12:08 a.m. ET, February 12, 2023

Humanitarian phase of earthquake recovery will last for months, says International Red Cross leader

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Recovery in Turkey after the devastating earthquake has now entered the "humanitarian phase," according to Jamie LeSueur, the head of emergency operations at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

As his team moves on from search-and-rescue operations, the greatest needs for those affected in Turkey continue to be food, health and water, LeSueur told CNN from Gaziantep.

"We've now entered into the humanitarian phase. That is going to last for a couple of months, where we'll still try to meet people's basic needs," LeSueur said.

The organization is receiving many winterized tents right now due to cold weather, but it is looking into pre-fabricated transitional shelter options, he said. Most of the population is too afraid to go inside, even if their homes have not been completely destroyed.  

"We want to get them out of the humanitarian phase as quickly as possible, into something sustainable and transitional that's going to keep them safe for a long time," the crisis responder said.

LeSueur added that his team is preparing for any eventuality, including the spread of diseases, and they are coordinating with the Turkish Red Crescent about sanitation needs.

The Red Cross is well-positioned to deal with needs in southern Turkey, he said, but also in hard-hit areas of northwestern Syria, where aid has been more complicated due to years of civil war.

"In Turkey, we've established an operation that goes to the border with Syria, and in Syria, we're using the Syrian Arab Red Crescent that going up to the Turkish border; we're trying to cover the entire operational area with two national societies," he said.