Rescuers battling heavy rain and snow as they race against the clock to find survivors in Turkey

After the earthquake struck in the early hours of Monday, more than 4,800 people were killed and 15,000 injured in Turkey and over the border in Syria.

The World Health Organization has warned priorly that it may rise dramatically as rescuers find more victims. As day broke, rescue teams stepped up their search for survivors.

Heavy machinery worked through the night in the city of Adana, with lights illuminating the collapsed buildings and huge slabs of concrete, in scenes repeated across southern Turkey.

Occasionally the work stopped and a call of “Allahu Akbar” rose up when a survivor was found, or when the dead are recovered.

Adana is full of the homeless – those who lost their homes and others are also fearful of aftershocks to return.

Some left without shoes, coats and phone chargers. Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing later this week.

Points to be taken in note:-

● On Tuesday morning, traffic was at a standstill on the main highway to the Turkish city of Maras, close to the epicentre of the quake.

● Cars occasionally crawled forward, the wet road illuminated by glowing red brake lights. Few rescuers have made it to this part of southern Turkey yet.

● Nationally, 8,000 people have been rescued from more than 4,700 destroyed buildings, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in its latest statement.

● As aftershocks continue, rescuers in some areas have been digging through rubble with their bare hands. But freezing conditions are hampering search efforts.

● In the southern province of Hatay, the Reuters news agency reported that a woman’s voice was heard calling for help under a pile of rubble.

● “They’re making noises, but nobody is coming,” a resident who gave his name as Deniz said while weeping.

● “We’re devastated, we’re devastated. My God… They’re calling out. They’re saying, ‘Save us,’ but we can’t save them. How are we going to save them? There has been nobody since the morning.”

● In the Turkish city of Osmaniye, near the epicentre, pouring rain hampered rescuers. The city was without power as the cold and rain set in.

● One family camped on the street, scared of the aftershocks, despite the freezing temperatures. Every time they felt an aftershock, the family moved closer into the middle of the street.

● Countries around the world are sending support to help the rescue efforts, including specialist teams, sniffer dogs and equipment. But the earthquake has caused significant damage to three airports across Turkey, also creating challenges for aid deliveries.

● Turkey lies in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. In 1999 a quake killed more than 17,000 in the north-west, while in 1939, 33,000 people died in the eastern province of Erzincan.

● This earthquake was powerful enough to be felt as far away as Cyprus, Lebanon and Israel.


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