Death toll in Turkey, Syria earthquake crosses 16,000

Aftermath of the deadly earthquake in Turkey. [Photo: Twitter/ AllahGreatQuran]

As rescuers continue to work on ground to pull more survivors from beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings, the death toll in earthquake hit Turkey and Syria has reached more than 16,000.

The earthquake that razed thousands of buildings in both the countries has become one of the deadliest quakes worldwide in more than a decade.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was scheduled to travel to the quake-hit provinces of Gaziantep, Osmaniye and Kilis amid ongoing criticism that the government’s response has been too slow.

In addition to 12,873 people killed in Turkiye, the country’s disaster management agency said more than 60,000 have been injured. On the Syrian side of the border, 3,162 have been reported dead and more than 5,000 injured, IANS reported.

Tens of thousands are thought to have lost their homes.

The report quoting experts said the survival window for those trapped under the rubble or otherwise unable to obtain basic necessities was closing rapidly. At the same time, they said, it is too soon to abandon hope.

Earlier, the World Health Organisation warned that the death toll in both the countries may surpass 20,000.

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