Rescuers on Tuesday were working to reach people under the rubble in three provinces hit hard by the devastating quakes that hit Turkey and Syria last week. The death toll from the magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 quakes that struck nine hours apart on Feb. 6 in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria passed 35,000, and was certain to increase as search teams find more bodies. Turkish television continued broadcasting rescues Tuesday, as experts said the window to find survivors is closing. In Adiyaman province, rescuers reached 18-year-old Muhammed Cafer Cetin, and medics gave him an IV with fluids before attempting a dangerous extraction from a building that crumbled further as rescuers were working. Medics surrounded him to place a neck brace and he was on a stretcher with an oxygen mask, making it out to daylight on the 199th hour. “We are so happy,” his uncle said. Read More: Search for earthquake survivors enters final hours in Turkey Two others were rescued from one building that’s been destroyed in central Kahramanmaras, near the epicenter, Tuesday some 198 hours after the quake. Broadcaster Haberturk said one was 17-year-old Muhammed Enes, who was seen wrapped in a thermal blanket and carried on a stretcher to an ambulance. Dozens of rescuers were working at the site and Turkish soldiers hugged and clapped after their rescue. Rescuers then asked for quiet to continue looking for others and shouted “can anyone hear me?" The health conditions of the rescued were unclear. In extremely hard-hit Hatay, Sengul Abalioglu lost her old sister and four nephews. “It doesn't matter if dead or alive, we just want our corpses so that they at least have a grave and we bury them,” she told The Associated Press, devastated as she waited in front of the rubble where her family could be. In Syria, President Bashar Assad agreed to open two new crossing points from Turkey to the country’s rebel-held northwest to deliver desperately needed aid and equipment to millions of earthquake victims, the United Nations announced Monday. The crossings at Bab Al-Salam and Al Raée will be opened for an initial period of three months. Until now, the U.N. has only been allowed to deliver aid to the Idlib area through a single crossing at Bab Al-Hawa. The United Nations has been under intense pressure to get more aid and heavy equipment into Syria’s rebel-held northwest since the earthquake struck a week ago, with survivors lacking the means to dig for other survivors and the death toll mounting. The first Saudi aid plane, carrying 35 tons of food, landed in government-held Aleppo airport Tuesday morning, according to Syrian state media. Saudi Arabia has raised some $50 million dollars in a public campaign to aid Turkey and Syria. Prior to Tuesday, Saudi planes landed in Turkey, with Saudi trucks also delivering some aid into impoverished rebel-held northwestern Syria. Several other Arab countries have sent planes loaded with aid to government-held Syria, including Jordan and Egypt, the United Arab Emirates. Algeria, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, Sudan and Libya have also delivered aid to Damascus. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said late Monday rescue work continued in Hatay province, along with Kahramanmaras — the epicenter — and Adiyaman. Rescue work appears to have ended in the remaining seven provinces. The quake affected 10 provinces in Turkey that are home to some 13.5 million people, as well as a large area in northwest Syria that is home to millions. Quake survivors also face difficult conditions amid wrecked cities, with many sleeping outdoors in freezing weather. Much of the region's water system is not working, and damage to the system raises risks of contamination. Turkey’s health minister said samples taken from dozens of points of the water system were “microbiologically unfit,” which highlights how precarious basic needs continue to be. More than 41,500 buildings were destroyed or so damaged that they would have to be demolished, the Minister of Environment and Urbanization. There are bodies under those buildings and the number of missing remain unclear. Many in Turkey blame faulty construction for the vast devastation, and authorities continued targeting contractors allegedly linked with buildings that collapsed. Turkey has introduced construction codes that meet earthquake-engineering standards, but experts say the codes are rarely enforced. The death toll in Turkey stood at 31,643 as of Monday. Officials have decreased the frequency of death toll updates since the first week of the response, now releasing larger updates once or twice a day. The toll in the northwestern rebel-held region has reached 2,166, according to the rescue group the White Helmets, while 1,414 people have died in government-held areas, according to the Syrian Health Ministry in Damascus. The overall death toll in Syria stands at 3,580. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cabinet was scheduled to meet Tuesday. ___ Bilginsoy reported from Istanbul. Kareem Chehayeb contributed from Beirut and Edith M. Lederer contributed from New York.
Rahima Begum of Khulna's Daulatpur, who had been missing since August 27, was found alive in Faridpur, police said. Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) found her alive in Faridpur's Boalmari at around 10:45 pm Saturday, KMP Deputy Commissioner (North) Molla Jahangir Hossain told UNB. "A team of police conducted a drive in Syedpur village after receiving information that Rahima had gone into hiding there. They are now on their way to Khulna," Molla Jahangir added. The development comes after 52-year-old Rahima's elder daughter Moriom Mannan, whose campaign to find her mother for almost a month touched the nation, suspected that the body of an unidentified woman buried in Mymensingh recently was her mother's. Aslo, Moriom, in a Facebook post, said they had put up "missing" posters in Khulna city, hoping that they would get their mother back. On August 27, Rahima went missing after she had left her home in the Banikpara area of Doulatpur at 10pm to bring water. Her daughters found her sandals, scarf and water pot. A newer pair of sandals though, had gone missing and that fuelled speculation that she had left home on her own. The family first filed a complaint with the police, based on which the law enforcement lodged a first information report (FIR) against some people over Rahima's disappearance. On September 13, after Rahima remained missing for 17 days and police failed to find her, her younger daughter Aduri Akter appealed to a Khulna court to transfer the case to the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), Moriom said. Family members said Rahima often received death threats from some of her neighbours whom she had sued in 2019 over a land dispute. Also read: Missing Khulna woman found dead in Mymensingh, family suspects
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the Commonwealth must do something befitting for Queen Elizabeth II in remembrance of her dedicated service to the forum over the years. She said this during her meeting with the Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland at her place of residence. According to a press release, the prime minister dubbed the late Queen as a ‘motherly figure’ and recalled her personal memories with the Queen. The Commonwealth secretary general paid tribute to the Queen for her abiding commitment to the Commonwealth, and expressed her confidence that the legacy would be carried forward by King Charles III as the new Head of the Commonwealth. The PM congratulated the secretary general on her re-election during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda in June this year. Patricia Scotland lauded Hasina for her contributions to women’s empowerment, child development, mental health issues, combating climate change and countering violent extremism. She once again appreciated the prime minister’s leadership in successfully managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and observed that those Commonwealth Member States had fared better during the crisis that had women in the lead or had women actively included in the management process. Read: PM Hasina leaves Dhaka to attend 77th UNGA PM Hasina responded positively to the Secretary General’s suggestion on highlighting the female leadership within the Commonwealth family on the occasion of the International Women’s Day. She also committed to partner with the Commonwealth to observe the “Year of Peace” and the “Year of Youth” through commemorative events next year. The secretary general made a particular mention of Bangladesh’s work in nature conservation and disaster management, and invited the prime minister to demonstrate leaderhip in the Commonwealth’s “Living Lands” initiative. She also recalled Bangladesh’s lead engagement with the organisation’s “Blue Charter” initiative. The Bangladesh PM underscored the importance of the Commonwealth’s economic development activities. She expressed satisfaction at the work being done on promoting business-to-business connectivity, with Bangladesh’s active footprint. Among others, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Senior Secretary at Prime Minister’s Office Mohammed Tofazzel Hossain Miah, and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem were present.
A man from Mirsharai upazila in Chattogram has got the shock of his life after he discovered his own death in a voter list. Arjun Chandra Das died in 2012, according to the voter list published by the Election Commission. He found out the shocking information as he sought to contest in the by-poll election of Dhum union-4 scheduled for November 11. READ: 3 members of a family found dead in Mirsarai: 2 held Arjun collected his nomination paper for general member post of ward-9 of that union and later found out he was listed as dead in the voter list. Astonished by the information, he sent a written complaint to the Election Commission Secretary. According to locals, on October 10 Arjun collected his nomination paper from the returning officer’s office and on October 13 he went to upazila election office to collect the voter list of that area. After not finding his name Arjun informed upazila election officer Faruque Hossain. Faruque confirmed after checking from an online list that Arjun, son of Sudhir Chandra Dash from Dhum village, died on March 25, 2012. The official informed Arjun as his name was not listed he cannot contest in the election. Arjun told UNB he is alive in his National ID card, Passport, heir certificate, character certificate, trade license, chairman certificate, tax receipt, bank account and all other official documents. “Even though I went to India on medical visa on 2017-2018, they have been showing me dead since 2012,” he said. READ: Mohamaya Lake, Mirsarai, Chattogram: The Best Place for Kayaking in Bangladesh “I just wish to serve people by contesting in the election which I cannot due to this error”, said a dejected Arjun. Upazila Election officer Faruq Hossain said Arjun’s complaint has been sent to the Election commission office for correction. “If EC approves, Arjun can take part in the by-poll. Otherwise his nomination will get cancelled”, he said.
Diego Maradona's Gimnasia y Esgrima kept alive their hopes of remaining in Argentina's top division next season with a 1-0 home victory over Atletico Tucuman on Saturday.