Aleppo after the earthquake

Armenians among Victims of Aleppo Earthquake and Its Aftereffects


ALEPPO, Syria — The 7.8 magnitude February 6 earthquake, with its epicenter in Turkey, killed at least 360 in Aleppo, Syria and wounded hundreds of others. As of February 9, over 3,162 people were reported dead in Syria according to a report in the Guardian, while the combined toll in Turkey and Syria reached 17,176. Dozens of Aleppine buildings were destroyed and the search for survivors amidst the ruins continued for days. At least two Armenians were killed and four wounded in the city. The situation remains unstable with periodic aftershocks through the date of this writing (February 10), which are lighter than the original earthquake.

The Aleppo building in which two Armenians died and two were wounded

According to several local Armenian sources, despite the winter weather, the majority of people in Aleppo are still sleeping either in their cars on the street, or in Armenian clubs or churches, out of fear. Some have apartments on high floors and don’t want to risk staying there. Others cannot stay in their homes because of the damage. Staying in various community centers also helps people feel better as they can console one another.

Cars were destroyed during the earthquake

People fear going back to their homes because they may have been damaged. Some want to find engineers to first inspect to make sure that they are safe. Many schools have been damaged, and cars were crushed by large stones falling on them.

Damage from the Aleppo earthquake

The damaged homes must be repaired. The government is examining some buildings and declaring certain ones have to be evacuated due to potential danger. It is also conducting rescue work and has distributed a limited amount of aid so far.

Damage from the earthquake

The temporary local Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) meeting place, a private library, had some damage, with computers and other items dashed to the ground. The original TCA center was damaged during the fighting in Syrian during the prior decade and now the earthquake has made the building potentially unstable, making members fear that the roof may collapse. They need to place support pillars and do other restorative work.

People need food, water, blankets and other provisions. The American sanctions had already caused shortages of various items such as milk for children prior to the earthquake. Many stores are closed and the prices of all foodstuffs has increased.

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The wounded Armenians are being taken care of in local Armenian institutions. Meanwhile, most people cannot work. Some aid arrived in Syria from Armenia by airplane on February 9 according to Armenian government reports, and a team of 29 rescue workers arrived February 8 in Aleppo. Various Armenian organizations throughout the world are now conducting aid campaigns.

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