Smallwood does not rule out that the death toll could exceed 20,000. “Unfortunately, this is what we often see in earthquakes; after the first reports, the number of deaths and injuries rises significantly in the week that follows,” says Smallwood. “There is also a risk of further collapses of damaged buildings.”
A Dutch spokesman for Unicef said on Tuesday morning that thousands of children are at risk from destroyed homes and extreme weather conditions. What will have even more impact on children is that schools and hospitals have been destroyed.
The WHO is particularly concerned about the areas in Turkey and Syria where no information has come from since the deadly earthquakes. The organization reports that mapping the damage is still ongoing, in order to determine where most attention should be focused.
“It is a race against time. Every minute that passes, the chances of finding victims alive get smaller,” said the organization’s director general. The network of emergency medical teams has been deployed to provide the necessary care. The WHO is also sending three charter flights to both countries with medical supplies, including for trauma surgery.
Watch our videos about the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in the playlist below: