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Official says nearly 300,000 people have been displaced by Syria quake, according to state news

More than 298,000 people in Syria have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the deadly earthquake, a local official said, according to state-run news.

Local Administration and Environment Minister Hussein Makhlouf said the earthquake’s death toll so far has risen to 1,262 and injuries have reached 2,258, in an apparent reference to the parts of Syria under government control and not those held by other factions.

“Our country is not qualified to deal with such disasters, especially with our exit from the war that caused the loss of 50,000 engineering machinery and equipment we desperately needed to use in this disaster, in addition to the economic sanctions applied to it,” Makhlouf said Wednesday during a press conference in Damascus, state media reported.
Makhlouf said the government had also opened 180 shelters for displaced people.

“We do not deny the difficulty of the situation compared to the available capabilities. Weather also had an impact on the rescue operations and the provision of relief, but despite this, the relief cadres and doctors did not hesitate to provide all the requirements,” Makhlouf added.

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