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Turkey-Syria earthquake: Death toll rises to over 5100, 25800 injured

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 5,171 while 25,817 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 3,549, and the injured to 22,168.

The Turkish authorities announced a large jump in the death toll, after it recorded 2,921 dead earlier in the day.

The number of injuries in Turkey jumped from 15,834 to 20,426 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.

The death toll in Syria had reached 1,622, and the number of injured at least 3,649.

On the other hand, the Syrian regime’s SANA agency quoted the Ministry of Health as saying that the number of earthquake victims rose to 812 dead and 1,449 injured in the governorates of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Idlib and Tartus, in an indefinite toll.

As for the Civil Defense of the Syrian opposition, it announced that the death toll in northwestern Syria had risen to more than 810 dead and more than 2,200 injured.

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.

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.

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.”

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.