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Death toll in Turkey earthquake crosses 3,800, thousands injured

Death toll in the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday has crossed 3,800 (Pic. Courtesy ANI)

The death toll in the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday has crossed 3,800 as buildings in entire sections of several cities have been and flattened.

While 2,379 deaths have been confirmed in Turkey, as many as 1,444 people have died in Syria, according to the country’s government authorities.

Nearly 14,500 people were injured and 4,900 buildings flattened in Turkey, according to official estimates in the country.

Rescuers are struggling to rescue people buried in the debris amidst the bitter cold. Millions of people have suddenly become homeless and are spending the night out in the cold with temperatures plunging below zero.

India is among the countries that have pledged aid and a disaster relief team has been despatched to the earthquake-hit area.

The rescue operations are being hampered by a winter blizzard that covered major roads in ice and snow. Officials said the quake made three major airports in the area inoperable, further complicating deliveries of vital aid, according to a Reuters report.

Multi-storey residential buildings were among the 5,606 structures reduced to rubble in Turkey, while neighbouring Syria announced dozens of collapses, as well as damage to archaeological sites in Aleppo.

The head of Syria’s National Earthquake Centre, Raed Ahmed, called it “the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre”.

The initial quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude tremor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue work on Monday.

In the southeastern Turkish city of Sanliurfa, rescuers were working into the night to try and pull survivors from the wreckage of a seven-storey building that had collapsed.

Nearby, Mustafa Koyuncu was sitting packed inside his stationary car with his wife and their five children, scared to move.

“We are waiting here because we can’t go home,” the 55-year-old told AFP. “Everyone is afraid.”

The earthquake was the biggest recorded worldwide by the U.S. Geological Survey since a tremor in the remote South Atlantic in August 2021.