Turkey and Syria earthquake: death toll passes 5,000


The death toll from the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria yesterday has jumped to over 5,000.

The magnitude 7.8 quake – the deadliest in Turkey since 1999 – hit early on Monday and was followed by a second hours later.

The quakes have left thousands of buildings toppled, including hospitals, apartments and schools. Tens of thousands of people have been injured or left homeless in several Turkish and Syrian cities.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Turkey has lost 3,419 people following the earthquakes, bringing the total including those killed in Syria to more than 5,000 people.

Rescuers have been digging people out of collapsed buildings amid severe weather conditions.

However, severe weather conditions have affected efforts to deliver aid to the affected people.

Speaking to reporters, Oktay said only rescue vehicles were being allowed to enter or leave Hatay, Kahramanmaras and Adiyaman, three of the most impacted provinces.

Reuters reported that aid officials have voiced particular concern about the situation in Syria which is already afflicted by a humanitarian crisis after nearly 12 years of civil war.

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