Five million may be homeless in Syria after quake: UN says

More than five million Syrians may be homeless after Monday’s devastating earthquakes that struck the country and its neighbour Turkey, according to a United Nations official.

“As many as 5.3 million people in Syria may have been left homeless by the earthquake,” Sivanka Dhanapala, the Syria representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Friday.

“That is a huge number and comes to a population already suffering mass displacement.” “For Syria, this is a crisis within a crisis,” he added, “We’ve had economic shocks, COVID and are now in the depths of winter, with blizzards raging in the affected areas.”

Survivors of the magnitude 7.8 and 7.6 quakes have flocked to camps set up for people displaced by nearly 12 years of war from other parts of Syria.

Many lost their homes or are too scared to return to damaged buildings. Some 24,000 people have already died across Turkey and Syria because of the quake – more than 3,300 of those in Syria.

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