ANKARA/DAMASCUS: The death toll as a result of deadly multiple earthquakes that struck Turkey, Syria and neighboring countries on Monday has climbed to 11,000 with thousands other injured.
Turkish authorities said the death toll on Tuesday afternoon stood at 7,109 and the number of people injured in the disaster crossed 38,224 mark.
He noted that they have started using all airports and helicopters will continue to work throughout the night as part of disaster relief efforts.
Over 450,000 people have been sheltering in student dormitories, he added.
Meanwhile, head of Directorate of Earthquake and Risk Reduction Orhan Tatar was quoted by Turkish media as saying that at least 684 aftershocks happened after the two major quakes.
Some 60,217 emergency officials are working in the area, including 3,200 personnel from 65 countries, Tatar said.
Turkish officials also said that over 8,000 people have been rescued alive till to date, while a total of 5,775 buildings have been damaged in some ten provinces.
In Syria, the death toll climbed to 2,547, with more than 1,500 people injured. Media office at the Aleppo governorate headquarters raised an appeal, urging US to lift sanctions on Syria. Officials said Turkey’s southern province of Hatay and Syria’s northern Aleppo city suffered the biggest loss of lives, while Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus also felt the tremor.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday in 10 of the country’s provinces hit by the quakes.
The decision was taken in order to ensure that search and rescue activities and subsequent studies can be carried out quickly, he said at a press conference.