earthquake in Turkey and Syria death toll crossed 17 thousand


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The death toll has risen to more than 19,000 as more bodies were retrieved from the rubble of collapsed houses in the region hit by a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Three days after earthquakes rocked Turkey and Syria, thousands of people made homeless gathered near a camp, crying out for food and water in the bitter cold. Meanwhile, rescuers continued to search for life buried under the pile of debris and several more survivors were pulled out today. Dozens of people rush to help a truck distributing baby coats and other items in the Turkish city of Antakya.

‘I love you all’

Emergency crews working overnight in Antakya city rescued a girl named Hajal Guner from the ruins of a building and the girl’s father, Soner Guner, news agency IHA reported. As Soner was being taken away in an ambulance, rescuers told him that his daughter was alive and that they were taking her to the same field hospital for treatment. “I love you all,” Sonner told the rescuers in a very weak voice.

In Diyarbakir, east of Antakya, rescuers pulled an injured woman alive from a collapsed building in the morning, the DHA news agency reported. Three people next to the woman, however, were found dead in the rubble. Meanwhile, a UN aid truck arrived in Turkey on Thursday morning in northwestern Syria held by rebels since the earthquake. Lakhs of people have also become homeless amidst the loss of life and property due to the earthquake. In Antakya, a woman named Serp Arslan was found looking tearfully at the rubble of the building under which her mother and brother were buried. Serap said the machinery to clear the massive debris here has started working from Wednesday.

‘More than 63 thousand injured’
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit the quake-hit provinces of Gaziantep, Osmania and Kilis on Thursday amid criticism of the government’s slow response. Erdoğan said on Thursday that the death toll in his country had exceeded 14,000, while more than 63,000 were injured. More than 3,100 people have been reported killed and more than 5,000 injured in Syria. Rescuers continue to search for survivors in the rubble of damaged homes.

Turkey’s disaster management agency said more than 110,000 rescue workers are now taking part in the operation. In the Syrian government-held city of Aleppo, rescue workers pulled seven people alive and recovered 44 bodies from a collapsed building in the city on Thursday, state TV reported.

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