UN Relief chief Martin Griffiths has said that the death toll from massive earthquake in Turkiye and Syria will double or more from its current level of 28,000.
Griffiths arrived on Saturday in Turkey’s southern city of Kahramanmaras. In an interview with Sky News on Saturday, Griffiths said: “I think it is difficult to estimate precisely as we need to get under the rubble but I’m sure it will double or more.”
“We haven’t really begun to count the number of dead,” he said.
Officials and medics said 24,617 people were killed in Turkiye and 3,574 in Syria. The confirmed total now stands at 28,191.
Tens of thousands of rescue workers are scouring flattened neighbourhoods despite freezing weather that has deepened the misery of millions now in desperate need of aid.
The United Nations has warned that at least 870,000 people urgently need hot meals across Turkey and Syria. Up to 5.3 million people may have been made homeless in Syria alone.
“Soon, the search and rescue people will make way for the humanitarian agencies whose job it is to look after the extraordinary numbers of those affected for the next months,” Griffiths said in a video posted to Twitter.