The death toll from Monday’s powerful earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria surpassed 20,000. Hope is quickly fading that survivors will be found under collapsed buildings.
WSJ said 16,546 people have so far died in Turkey. This figure could soon surpass the death toll from a devastating 1999 earthquake in the country that killed 17,127. In Syria, the death toll stands at 3,162.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the quake was the “biggest disaster in the last century.”
Tens of thousands of rescuers are pulling survivors out from the rubble of collapsed building structures, but more than 72 hours after the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria, hope is quickly fading that more people will be found alive. The death toll figures in the region topped 17,000 on Thursday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 14,014 people were killed and more than 67,000 injured. In Syria, 3,577 died, and more than 6,300 were injured.
For 100,000-plus rescue personnel, the task is monumental, as there are thousands of collapsed buildings to search. Blocked roads and other logistical challenges have made it challenging for first responders. They’re also racing against time as a person’s survival probability drops due to a lack of food and water.
President Erdogan declared a three-month emergency for ten of Turkey’s 81 provinces. He said the measure is because of the widespread destruction in cities, some of which have an equivalent population size to small US cities.
Since the powerful earthquake struck southeastern Turkey before dawn on Monday, there have been 650 aftershocks in the region.