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Death toll from twin quakes in Türkiye nears 46,000

The death toll from two devastating earthquakes that struck southern parts of Türkiye last month has risen to 45,968, the country’s interior minister said.

Suleyman Soylu said on Saturday the death toll includes 4,267 Syrians as well. The death toll in Syria is more than 5,900, regime and opposition authorities say.

On February 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 Turkish provinces — Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.

More than 13 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the quakes, which also hit Syria. 

Soylu said the region has been rocked by more than 13,000 aftershocks since the disaster that also completely devastated hundreds of thousands of buildings.

Turkish President Erdogan vows to build 300,000 homes in quake-hit region

Syrian refugees 

Meanwhile, the UN has urged countries to speed up taking Syrian refugees from earthquake-hit zones in Türkiye, saying they were facing the trauma of loss and displacement all over again.

The United Nations made the call as 89 Syrian refugees arrived in Madrid from Türkiye.

For almost 12 years, Türkiye has hosted nearly 4 million Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war, making it the largest refugee-hosting country in the world.

Last month’s earthquake affected an estimated nine million people, of which more than 1.7 million are refugees.

“Many refugees who fled to Türkiye in search of safety and protection have now faced the trauma of loss and displacement once again — losing their homes and livelihoods,” the UN’s International Organization for Migration and the UN refugee agency UNHCR said in a joint statement.

“To help protect those refugees most at-risk, and to help alleviate pressures on local communities who themselves are also impacted by this humanitarian disaster, UNHCR is appealing for states to expedite resettlement processes and departures,” said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.

Earthquakes caused direct damage of $5.1B in Syria: World Bank

READ MORE: WHO chief ‘heartbroken’ by visit to quake-hit northern Syria

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