As the search for survivors continues in the aftermath of two devastating earthquakes that struck the state of Kahramanmaras in southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday, the death toll has risen to 12,049, while the number of injured reached 57.979, as of Wednesday.
In Turkey alone, the death toll from the earthquake reached 9,057, and the number of injured rose to 52,979, according to the latest statistics announced by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
Meanwhile, the number of earthquake victims across Syria rose to more than 2,992 dead and 5,000 wounded, amid difficulties in delivering aid, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced new residences will be built within 1 year in 10 provinces affected by earthquakes, Anadolu Agency reported.
In the bitter cold, aid workers continue their race against time to try to rescue survivors of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, while bad weather complicates rescue operations.
Although there is little hope of finding more survivors among the thousands trapped under the rubble of the devastating earthquake.
After 48 hours on Wednesday in Turkey, a two-month-old baby was rescued alive from earthquake rubble.
On the other hand, Turkish search and rescue teams succeeded, on Wednesday, in rescuing a one-year-old infant, 53 hours after the earthquake that struck the south of the country.
In another rescue operation, teams managed to rescue another infant in Adi Yaman state, 36 hours after he was trapped under the rubble. The infant was immediately taken to the hospital.
On Tuesday evening, rescue teams from the Istanbul municipality found a Syrian refugee boy named Mohammad Ahmed under the rubble of a completely collapsed building in the town of Hatay, southern Turkey.
The little boy looked exhausted after 45 hours in the dark, covered in dirt, but he did not give up.
In a video documenting the rescue, the little boy appeared to sip water from a bottle cap before being pulled from under the wreckage.
The mayor of Istanbul, Akram Imamoglu, shared the video on Twitter, commenting, “Well done, Mohammad. Antakya.”
As per media reports voices of people from under the rubble are still being heard.
The Turkish disaster management said that about 100,000 search and rescue personnel are working in the affected areas, and the authorities indicated that the coming hours are crucial to rescuing those trapped in the rubble.
While this was considered the worst earthquake to hit Turkey since the one that occurred on August 17, 1999, and caused the death of 17,000 people, including a thousand in Istanbul.
The White Helmets said the death toll is likely to rise, as there are hundreds of families trapped under the rubble.
It is noteworthy that the two earthquakes that struck southern Turkey, on Monday, were of magnitudes of 7.7 and 7.6 on the Richter scale, destroying thousands of buildings, and leaving thousands injured, homeless and dead.
World Health Organization fears that the number of victims may reach 20,000, and has estimated the number of people affected by the earthquake at 23 million.