Earthquake death toll surpasses 11,700 in Turkey, Syria

TEHRAN, Feb. 08 (MNA) – The death toll from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday has risen to more than 11,700.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the death toll in the country from Monday’s earthquakes has reached at least 9,057 as rescue workers continue to search for victims buried under mountains of rubble.

At least another 2,662 people have been killed in Syria, according to tallies.

The latest figures bring the total death toll to 11,719.

Aid agencies and emergency workers say the death toll is likely to increase further with many people still trapped under the rubble, and freezing weather conditions hampering rescue efforts.

Countries and organizations from across the globe have responded to the crisis with money, equipment and boots on the ground. Doctors Without Borders says it has 500 staff working in Syria — some of whom lost family members in the quake. NATO said its members are sending more than 1,400 emergency response personnel, CNN reported.

Extreme winter weather is impacting rescue efforts. Aftershocks are also a potential hazard — at least 125 measuring 4.0 or greater have occurred since the 7.8 magnitude quake struck southern Turkey on Monday, according to the US Geological Survey. Though their frequency and magnitude are decreasing, 5.0 to 6.0+ aftershocks are still possible and bring a risk of additional damage to compromised structures and a continued threat to rescue teams and survivors.

Thousands of buildings collapsed in the two nations and aid agencies are warning of “catastrophic” repercussions in northwest Syria. Satellite images show the extent of the damage in the Turkish towns of Islahiye and Nurdagi near the quake's epicenter.

The World Health Organization estimates up to 23 million people could be affected by the earthquake. 


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