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The death toll from the Syria earthquake is “much higher” than reported

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The reported death toll in Syria likely exceeded 3,600 on Monday after massive earthquakes measuring 7.7 and 7.6 last week devastated neighboring Turkey.

However, the actual number of casualties may be much higher than the figures reported by Syrian state media and Syrian Civil Defense sources, as the country remains divided between factions due to the decade-long civil war.

Across the border, Turkish media sources have reported that more than 4,500 people have been killed in opposition-held northwest Syria and in areas under the control of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Speaking to the Daily Sabah newspaper, the director of the Atarib city hospital in western Aleppo, Omar Hallaq, said the death toll could be much higher than these official figures.

“People buried dozens of victims as soon as they were pulled out from under the rubble, without transferring them or registering them in a hospital or medical center,” he added.

NGOs, civic bodies and local councils have been working tirelessly to obtain accurate statistics on deaths and injuries caused by the earthquake. However, this could take a long time due to the large number of collapsed buildings.

The Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets, announced on Sunday that the death toll in northwest Syria had risen to 2,167, and more than 3,000 wounded.

It added that more than 550 buildings were completely destroyed in the area, while the number of severely damaged buildings reached 1,578.

The largest death toll was recorded in the city of Jenderes in the Afrin region at 513, followed by the city of Harem, with about 360 dead. Followed by the city of Salqin, with 221 dead, Armanaz, with 155 dead, and Atarib, with 150 dead. The town of Izmarin saw 140 dead.

On the other hand, the death toll in the regime-controlled areas in Aleppo alone reached 390 and 750 wounded, while the number of collapsed buildings reached 54, according to what was reported by the Syrian News Agency (SANA), which is under the control of the Syrian regime.

The director of Jiblah Hospital, Dr. Qusai Khalil, said: “The death toll from the Jiblah earthquake, as of Sunday, reached 292 dead and 179 wounded.”

Meanwhile, the administration of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between northwestern Syria and Turkey announced that it had received nearly 1,200 bodies of Syrians who died in the earthquake in southern Turkey.

They reached the crossing from several quake-stricken Turkish cities, but most of them came from Hatay.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) announced on Monday that more than 31,643 people have died so far in the powerful earthquakes.

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