Turkey/Syria: Satellite images show complete devastation - Dispatch Weekly

February 15, 2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

​​A little village in northwest Syria can be seen in satellite photographs to demonstrate the magnitude of the earthquake’s destruction in Turkey and Syria.

A horrific situation with “terrifying pictures” and “damage everywhere” was described by the leader of the White Helmets organisation, which has been in charge of the rescue operation in the area controlled by the opposition.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook adjacent southern Turkey on 6 February was responsible for over 200 structures being razed to the ground.

Although another 813 injured people have been discovered alive, according to the While Helmets, 517 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage there. The deaths account for nearly a quarter of all those recorded in the area, where 90% of the 4.6 million residents needed humanitarian aid even before the earhquake.

The White Helmets and the locals of Jindayris have also performed a number of incredible rescues there.

A guy was seen cradling a newborn baby girl who had been discovered beneath the wreckage of her family’s home and was still attached to her dead mother by her umbilical cord in a dramatic video shot hours after the earthquake. Her father, her four siblings, and her aunt also perished.

Hundreds of people searched through the rubble, frequently using only their bare hands, as seen by rescues like these, according to drone footage of Jindayris that the White Helmets shared a week ago.

The UN and the international community, however, have been accused by the White Helmets of failing to provide any of the heavy machinery or other specialised equipment they requested, which has impeded their activities.

Raed al-Salah, the leader of the group, also issued a caution on Tuesday, saying that the hunt for survivors in the northwest was likely to come to an end.

“The indications we have are that there are not any [survivors], but we are attempting to make our last checks and on all areas. In areas under government control, where 1,414 deaths have been documented by the health ministry, the situation is comparable,” he said.

According to the UN, 8.8 million people have been affected and 7,400 properties across Syria have been fully or partially destroyed.

Humanitarian needs were at their highest point since the country’s civil war began over 12 years ago when the earthquake struck. Additionally, it occurred in the midst of a cholera outbreak and the coldest month of the year.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.