(Beirut) More than 50,000 people died in Turkey and Syria in the February 6 earthquake, according to a report obtained by AFP from several sources, and reassessed on the Syrian side.
The death toll in Syria has reached 5,951, according to a report compiled on Tuesday through joint inspections from several sources.
The latest Turkish death toll, announced by the Turkish Public Disaster Management Agency (AFAD), is 44,374.
Thus, the total death toll from the earthquake in the two countries is 50,325.
The earthquake devastated several areas in northern and western Syria, fragmented by nearly twelve years of conflict that has left close to 500,000 people dead and millions displaced.
In areas under government control, the Syrian Ministry of Health has recorded 1,414 deaths, a budget that has not changed.
In areas outside the control of Damascus that border Turkey, the local authorities reported 4,537 deaths.
The health official in these areas, Maram Al-Sheikh, told AFP on Tuesday that this assessment is “almost final, as the majority of the victims were found under the rubble.”
Al-Sheikh added that it was established in cooperation with one of the local partners of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU).
The UN maintains the same figure and indicates that it is based on ACU data.
The outcome, according to al-Sheikh, includes all the rebel areas affected by the earthquake, which are controlled by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the northwest, or the Syrian factions loyal to Turkey in the north.
Since February 6, AFP has relied on a report published by the White Helmets, volunteer rescuers in rebel areas, which lists the only victims found by their teams.
Al-Sheikh explained that the assessment of the bodies he represents was based on data collected from hospitals, medical centers, civil defense and local councils that documented the burial of victims without transferring them to hospitals.
Prior to this new count, the previous death toll kept by AFP in Syria was 3,688.