Death toll from Turkey-Syria earthquake surpasses 40,000


At least 41,218 people have now been killed and tens of thousands injured from the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria last week.

Turkish authorities say 35,418 people have been killed in the country, while more than 5,800 people are dead in Syria.

On Tuesday, Derya Yanik, Turkey’s minister of family and social services, said at least 1,362 children in Turkey were separated from their parents.

Yanik said 369 have been reunited with their families, 792 are in hospitals, and 201 children are in “institutions affiliated with our ministry”.

According to CNN, rescue teams in the country say they are still hearing voices from under the rubble, offering a glimmer of hope of finding more survivors.

TheCable had reported how Belit Tasdemir, United Nations liaison officer at the Search and Rescue Association in Turkey, expressed concern over a rapid closing window of rescue.

He said rescue teams, who have been on the ground for several days, are starting to become affected by cold temperatures and “extreme fatigue”.

“The sheer level of, and how widespread the devastation is, is completely unprecedented in terms of what we’ve seen before in Turkey,” Tasdemir said.

“We’re approaching the end of the search and rescue window, and plus the probability of finding survivors under the rubble in below-freezing temperatures is becoming a lower probability.”

There has been public anger over the Turkish government’s slow response to the situation.

Although authorities have issued arrest warrants for over 30 property developers blamed for building collapses, residents say it is the government’s attempts to shift responsibility for the incident.

On Tuesday, President Recep Erdogan said enforcement of stricter building regulations was needed in the country.

He also gave the assurance that his government would continue work until the last person was rescued from the rubble.

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