LONDON, Feb 7 (MENA) - Dozens of powerful aftershocks continued to jolt southern Turkey and northern Syria on Tuesday, a day after an earthquake struck the region killing more than 5,000 people and destroying thousands of buildings, as difficult conditions and freezing temperatures hampered rescue efforts, The Guardian reported.
As the scale of the devastation from the 7.8 magnitude tremor continued to unfold, the World Health Organization warned the number of casualties could exceed 20,000.
On Tuesday morning, Turkey’s vice-president, Fuat Oktay, said 3,419 people had been killed in the quake, with another 20,534 had been injured.
The number of confirmed deaths on the Syrian side of the border rose to 1,602, bringing the death toll in both countries to 5,021.
Turkey’s disaster management agency said it had 11,342 reports of collapsed buildings, of which 5,775 had been been confirmed.
People in remote towns in southern Turkey described how relief efforts were stretched to breaking point, amid destruction over a border region spanning almost 650 miles.
In rebel-held northern Syria, volunteer rescue workers said they lacked some of the most basic fuel and other provisions required to pull those still trapped under the rubble of their homes.