Turkey-Syria earthquake: Death toll crosses 25,000 as hopes of finding more survivors fade

In some areas, there were fewer visible rescue operations amid the smashed concrete mounds of fallen houses and apartment blocks

By AP

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to the press on Saturday as he visits the hard-hit southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir. — AFP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to the press on Saturday as he visits the hard-hit southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir. — AFP

Published: Sat 11 Feb 2023, 6:18 PM

Last updated: Sat 11 Feb 2023, 7:24 PM

The death toll in Turkey and Syria from the earthquake that struck five days ago has surpassed 25,000.

Turkey’s president on Saturday raised the death toll in his country to 21,848, while in Syria, the reported number of dead was 3,553 in government and rebel-held areas.


Some 80,104 people have been injured in Turkey alone, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, speaking in the city of Sanliurfa. A few survivors are still being pulled from the rubble, however, more than 130 hours after the quake.

Rescue teams in Turkey on Saturday pulled to safety a family of five who survived inside their collapsed home for five days.


The UAE's own squad was able to save an 11-year-old child and an elderly man after being trapped in the rubble for nearly 120 hours.

The rescues brought shimmers of joy amid overwhelming devastation.

Not everything ended so well, however. Rescuers reached a 13-year-old girl inside the debris of a collapsed building in Hatay province early on Saturday and intubated her. But she died before the medical teams could amputate a limb and free her from the rubble, Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Even though experts say trapped people can live for a week or more, the odds of finding more survivors were quickly waning. Rescuers were shifting to thermal cameras to help identify life amid the rubble, a sign of the weakness of any remaining survivors.

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