The total death toll from the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck at dawn on Monday in the state of Kahramanmaras in southern Turkey and northern Syria has risen to 7,216, while 35,527 were injured, as of Tuesday.
In Turkey alone, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) announced that the death toll from the earthquake had risen to 5,434, and the injured to 31,777.
The Turkish authorities announced a large jump in the death toll, after it recorded 4,544, dead earlier in the day.
The number of injuries in Turkey jumped from 26,725, to 31,777 over the past few hours.
Turkish authorities raised the alert to the fourth level, which includes a request for international assistance, while the emergency department warned of the presence of dangerous seismic activity in the region, and 312 aftershocks occurred in the aftermath of the earthquake.
As per a report by Anadolu Agency, 3,294 personnel from 70 countries have been sent to help in the search and rescue operation.
Together with the Turkish rescuers, 13,740 people have already been assigned to work in the disaster area. They are using 629 cranes and 360 vehicles, reports the BBC.
The disaster agency further confirmed that an air bridge has been established, and 146 aid-delivering sorties have already been made. In total, 300,000 blankets and 41,504 family tents have been delivered, along with heaters and kitchen sets.
Syria death toll
On the other hand, the number of earthquake victims throughout Syria rose to 1,782 dead and 3,750 injured in the governorates of Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, Idlib and Tartus, in an indefinite toll.
Turkish President declares 3-month emergency in provinces hit by massive quakes
Turkish President Erdogan on Tuesday declares 3-month state of emergency in 10 provinces hit by massive earthquakes.
Turkish flags fly at half-staff throughout the nation as well as at its diplomatic missions overseas as the country observes seven day of national mourning.
Kuwait launches air bridge to help Turkey
On Tuesday, the first pilots of the air bridge, which the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, directed to send to Turkey.
The bridge includes urgent medical aid and staff, and its launch was attended by the head of the Kuwaiti General Fire Force, Lieutenant General Khaled Al-Makrad, and the Turkish ambassador to Kuwait, Tuba Nur Sonmez.
Qatar Red Crescent loses three employees in devastating earthquake
On Tuesday, Qatar Red Crescent announced on Twitter, that it “lost 3 of its employees working in the field in northern Syria and southern Turkey, as a result of the devastating earthquake.”
It explained that “a number of his employees lost their families.”
3 UAE aid planes carrying emergency supplies arrive in Turkey
United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday, announced the arrival of three planes to Turkey as part of the air bridge.
The Joint Operations Command of the UAE Ministry of Defense said that the arrival of aid planes “comes within the framework of Operation ‘The Gallant Knight 2’ to support brothers in Syria and Turkey, in implementation of the directives of UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.”
The quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years of records, struck 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
As per a report by AFP, the toll continues to rise, as a very large number of people are still under the rubble. Also, rain, snow and low temperatures with the onset of darkness hinder the efforts of rescuers in Turkey.
Under these circumstances, the World Health Organization expected the final outcome to be much greater than the announced non-final numbers.
“There is a constant possibility of additional collapses, and we often see numbers that are 8 times higher than the initial numbers,” Catherine Smallwood, director of emergencies at the World Health Organization’s European office, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is preparing to run for elections on May 14, called for national unity.
“We hope to get out of this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least possible damage,” he wrote on Twitter, noting that Turkey had received aid from 45 countries. Erdogan declared a seven-day national mourning in the country.