Death toll exceeds 48,000 in Turkey’s deadly quakes

Turkish authorities are still working on identification of 1615 victims

Ankara: The death toll from two earthquakes that hit Turkey on February 6 has risen to 48,448, the Turkish Interior Minister said.

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“The number of foreign nationals among the killed is 6,660. Most of them are our Syrian brothers,” Suleyman Soylu said on Monday at a press conference in the central Malatya province, which was also attended by Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.

The Turkish authorities are still working on the identification of 1,615 victims, Soylu added.

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He said the debris removal are underway and that Turkey will start the demolition of heavily damaged buildings in the next stage, Xinhua news agency reported.

The powerful earthquakes and major aftershocks centred in southern Turkey have caused huge property losses and left tens of thousands of people homeless.

More than 433,500 tents have been installed in quake-hit provinces in southern Turkey, along with 21,000 containers for temporary sheltering, the Minister said, noting that the country plans to install a total of 115,585 containers.

More than two million people fled quake-hit provinces across southern Turkey, official statistics show.

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