Scale of quake destruction in Türkiye massive 'in modern history' - WHO chief

The scale of the devastation from major earthquakes earlier this month in southern Türkiye is historically “massive,” said the head of the World Health Organization on Tuesday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

Speaking in the Turkish quake region, Tedros Ghebreyesus said: “We have driven today from Gaziantep until Antakya here, and the level of the destruction we have observed … is really, really massive.”

At a joint press conference with Turkish Heath Minister Fahrettin Koca, he added, referring to the toll of dead and injured: “This is massive in modern history.”

Adding that he and Koca discussed some challenges in camps of survivors they saw, including mental health issues, Tedros said: “From the WHO side, we will support in any way possible based on the issues observed or documented and based on the priorities of the ministry.”

“I urge the international community to support as per the pledge it has made recently through the UN flash appeal,” he said, stressing that Türkiye is doing its best on the ground but needs support.

For his part, Koca said they are trying to heal the wounds from the quake as soon as possible.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all friendly and brotherly countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations who supported us in the process," he added.

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