More than 5,000 people were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed when an earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday, and on Tuesday, rescue efforts were hampered by difficult conditions, freezing temperatures, and damaged roads, and by the dozens of powerful aftershocks that continued to jolt the region.
While the full scope of the damage from the 7.8 magnitude quake was still being assessed, the World Health Organization issued a warning that the death toll may rise above 20,000.
Vice President Fuat Oktay of Turkey reported on Tuesday morning that 3,419 people had been killed and 20,534 had been injured as a result of the earthquake. On the Syrian side of the border, the confirmed death toll has risen to 1,602, bringing the total number of fatalities to 5,021. There were 11,342 reports of collapsed structures, with 5,775 validated by Turkey’s disaster management department.
Residents of outlying communities in southern Turkey revealed how aid workers were stretched thin as they attempted to deal with the aftermath of widespread destruction along the 650-mile-long Turkish border.
Volunteer rescue workers in rebel-held northern Syria have reported a scarcity of petrol and other supplies necessary to reach those still buried under the wreckage.
As a result of the cold, rescuers have been unable to locate a significant portion of the still-trapped population. There were millions of people living in the worst-hit cities in southern Turkey, but rescue efforts were hampered by poor internet connectivity and destroyed highways between these cities.
Related Article : Experts say spy balloon impacts China’s war plans