Quake Death Toll Nears 48,000 in Türkiye, 6,000 in Syria

A man rides his motorcycle in a destroyed neighborhood among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Hatay, on March 7, 2023, one month after a massive earthquake struck southeastern Türkiye. (AFP)
A man rides his motorcycle in a destroyed neighborhood among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Hatay, on March 7, 2023, one month after a massive earthquake struck southeastern Türkiye. (AFP)
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Quake Death Toll Nears 48,000 in Türkiye, 6,000 in Syria

A man rides his motorcycle in a destroyed neighborhood among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Hatay, on March 7, 2023, one month after a massive earthquake struck southeastern Türkiye. (AFP)
A man rides his motorcycle in a destroyed neighborhood among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Hatay, on March 7, 2023, one month after a massive earthquake struck southeastern Türkiye. (AFP)

The head of Türkiye’s disaster and emergency management agency has raised the country's death toll from a magnitude 7.8 earthquake last month to 47,975.

Yunus Sezer said during a news conference on Saturday that the people who died included 6,278 foreigners, with Syrian nationals accounting for the largest share.

The Feb. 6 quake affected 11 Turkish provinces and parts of neighboring Syria. The United Nations has estimated Syria's death toll at 6,000.

The quake was followed by a magnitude 7.5 temblor hours later, as well as thousands of aftershocks.

At least 230,000 buildings were destroyed or badly damaged in Türkiye. Experts have pointed at lax building code enforcement as a major reason why the earthquake was so deadly.



Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)
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Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)

A fire broke out at a hospital in Iran's north, killing nine patients, state media reported Tuesday.

The blaze started at 1:30 local time (2200GMT) at Qaem Hospital in the city of Rasht, some 330 kilometers (about 205 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran, state TV said, leaving six women and three men dead.

Chief of the city fire department, Shahram Momeni, said on state TV that an electric short circuit in the basement — which harbors the intensive care unit — malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Momeni said emergency workers rescued more than 140 people, patients and hospital staff, after being trapped because of the smoke, and that 120 of them were hospitalized in other medical facilities. He added that an investigation has been ordered.

A video posted online appeared to show smoke billowing from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Iranian media occasionally report on fires in hospitals and clinics that are mainly blamed on technical issues.

In 2020, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.