Six Dutch missing in Turkey after earthquakes; Death toll climbs above 5,000

ADANA - Six Dutch people are missing in Turkey after massive earthquakes rocked the country and Syria on Monday. Their relatives reported them missing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday. The Ministry does not yet know whether there are Dutch among the people who died. At least 5,021 people were killed in Turkey and Syria as a result of the earthquakes since early Monday morning. Over 24,000 were known to be injured. 


“We are very concerned about their situation and are doing everything we can to get clarity for their family and friends as quickly as possible,” the Ministry said about the missing Dutch people. “The Ministry has constant and active contact with the Turkish authorities at the scene. Due to the situation, it may, unfortunately, be some time before there is clarity for everyone.” 


Turkey’s vice president, Fuat Oktay, and the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said Tuesday morning that 3,419 people lost their lives, and 20,534 others were injured. In Syria, another 1,602 people were confirmed killed. At least 3,500 people were wounded there, according to the Associated Press and CNN. 


An estimated 13,740 search and rescue workers were active in Turkey alone. “A total of 2,660 teams from 65 countries have contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to offer assistance,” AFAD said. The Netherlands deployed an Urban Search and Rescue Team to Turkey to help search for survivors. The 65 first responders and eight rescue dogs arrived in Turkey on Monday evening and joined teams from all over the world to search the rubble. 


So far, the Turkish government said it registered an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale centered in Pazarcık, Kahramanmaraş at about 4:17 a.m. on Monday. Another 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck near Elbistan. A total of 243 earthquakes and aftershocks have been registered as part of the event. 


The Red Cross also launched Giro 7244 to raise funds to help the victims in Turkey and Syria. By Tuesday morning, Netherlands residents had already donated nearly 1.3 million euros.