Rescue workers are still digging through the rubble looking for survivors from the devastating earthquakes that caused widespread damage in both Turkey and Syria on Monday.
A 7.8 quake hit southeastern Turkey just after 4 am local time, and a later tremor which was almost as big hit the country further north just a few minutes later. The death toll is currently more than 8 thousand and expected to rise and more than 20 thousand people have been injured.
In Turkey alone, more than 56 hundred buildings were destroyed
About 380 thousand people have taken refuge in government shelters or hotels, with others huddling in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centres. The president of Turkey has declared a state of emergency for three months in 10 provinces affected the most.
He said the measures would allow relief workers and financial aid into the affected regions but did not give further details. Around 70 countries are sending aid to Turkey, however aftershocks, freezing temperatures and damaged roads are hampering efforts to reach and rescue those affected by Monday’s earthquakes.