The latest death toll from Monday’s catastrophic earthquake stands at 8,704. On Wednesday morning, AFP reported that Syria’s death toll had climbed to 2,470. At least 6,234 have died in Turkey. The numbers are expected to continue to increase during the day as more rubble is excavated.
Turkey’s disaster agency said 37,011 people had been injured, adding that more than 79,000 personnel were engaged in search and rescue operations.
More than 8,000 people so far have been pulled from the debris in Turkey, said the Turkish vice-president, Fuat Oktay. About 380,000 people have taken refuge in government shelters or hotels, with others huddling in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centres.
On Tuesday afternoon, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared a disaster zone in the 10 provinces affected by the earthquakes, imposing a state of emergency in the region for three months.
Turkey’s disaster management agency said it had 11,342 reports of collapsed buildings, of which 5,775 had been confirmed. The ministry of transport and infrastructure said that on Monday night 3,400 people had taken shelter in trains being used as emergency accommodation.
In Turkey, anger is mounting over what was described as a slow and inadequate response by authorities. Many countries have sent emergency aid and search and rescue assistance already, including neighboring Georgia.