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Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria live updates: Death toll soars past 5,000 as rescuers scour rubble

Photo: Woman pulled from the rubble in southern Turkey

Rescue workers carry a woman out of the debris of a collapsed building in Kahramanmaras, southern Turkey on Tuesday.

Rescuers raced Tuesday to find survivors in the rubble of thousands of buildings brought down by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks that struck eastern Turkey and neighboring Syria.
Ismsail Coskun / AP

White Helmets 'unable to respond to the full scale of the disaster' in Syria

Mithil Aggarwal and Lawahez Jabari

In Syria, members of the White Helmets are struggling to cope with the sheer scale of the disaster, the organization said in a statement Tuesday.

"Great efforts are being made by our teams, but they are unable to respond to the full scale of the disaster. Hundreds remain trapped under the rubble," the team of search and rescue responders officially known as Syria Civil Defence said in a statement.

In a separate statement, it said that more than 200 buildings had been completely destroyed, with tens of thousands cracked.

Some 23 million people likely affected by quakes, WHO warns

Some 23 million people, including 1.4 million children, across Turkey and Syria were likely affected by Monday's earthquake and its aftershocks, according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO said it was dispatching emergency supplies, including trauma and emergency surgical kits, to the region as it activated a network of emergency medical teams.

“It’s now a race against time,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Every minute, every hour that passes, the chances of finding survivors alive diminishes."

Photo: L.A. County firefighters deployed to Turkey

Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department prepare for deployment in Pacoima, Calif., on Monday after being activated by US Aid to go to Turkey to assist with earthquake recovery efforts.

Image: LA County Fire Department prepares for deployment to Turkey
Allison Dinner / EPA via Shutterstock

China offers almost $6 billion in aid to Turkey and Syria

Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his condolences to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Chinese foreign ministry said late Monday.

"Xi Jinping expressed his shock learning of the strong earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, which caused heavy casualties and property losses," the ministry said in a statement.

China will also provide 40 million yuan ($5.9 million) in relief aid to Turkey, state news agency Xinhua said Tuesday, adding that additional aid of $200,000 will be provided to Turkey and Syria each by China's Red Cross.

Photo: Turkish mosque destroyed by earthquake

The Yeni mosque destroyed by an earthquake in Malatya, Turkey on Monday.

A powerful quake has knocked down multiple buildings in southeast Turkey and Syria and many casualties are feared.
Yeni Mosque view in Malatya City. Yeni Mosque is populer tourist attraction in Malatya City.
The Yeni Mosque in 2016.Alamy Stock Photo

Freezing weather complicates search for survivors

As search and rescue teams race to pull survivors from the rubble amid continuing aftershocks, freezing weather and snow have been further complicating the search.

In Malatya, a city in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey, rescue teams searched for survivors in below-freezing weather Tuesday.

Earthquakes jolt Turkiye's provinces
Hakan Burak Altunoz / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Photo: Dust rises from the rubble as search intensifies in Turkey

Emergency teams search for people in the rubble of a destroyed building in Adana, southern Turkey on Tuesday.

A powerful earthquake hit southeast Turkey and Syria early Monday, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing and injuring thousands of people.
Hussein Malla / AP

India's aid team and relief equipment arrives in Turkey

India's first dispatch of its aid team arrived in Turkey on Tuesday morning, with a second supply en route, officials said.

More than 50 search and rescue personnel as well as dog squads, relief equipment and medicines had been sent, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar wrote on Twitter.

"India continues to support the people of Türkiye in their hour of need," external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter.

Photo: Search continues amid port fire in Iskendetun, Turkey

A woman searches for victims at the site of a collapsed building as plumes of black smoke rise in the Turkish port city of city of Iskenderun on Tuesday.

After an earthquake hit South Turkey and Syria, Hatay - 07 Feb 2023
Erdem Sahin / EPA via Shutterstock

Search and rescue efforts continue as death toll soars past 5,000

Search and rescue efforts continued in Turkey and Syria on Tuesday following Monday's devastating earthquakes as the death toll continued to climb, soaring past 5,000 people.

In Turkey, at least 3,419 people were killed, the country's vice president said in an update. In Syria, the death toll in government-held areas climbed to 812 people, according to the Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, at least 790 people died in the country's rebel-held territories, according to the White Helmets.

That takes the total to at least 5,021 people killed across Turkey and Syria, with thousands more injured and many still buried beneath the rubble.