A week after a highly powerful earthquake devastated regions across Turkey and Syria, the death toll crossed 36,000.
Turkey’s Emergency Coordination Center (SAKOM) put the death toll in the country at 31,643 while Syrian state media and government authorities say 4574 people died in Syria. This includes 1,414 deaths in government-controlled parts and more than 3,160 deaths in rebel-held regions in he country.
The United Nations aid agency said the actual number of victims is likely to be double the number recorded now.
The magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes that struck southern Turkey and western Syria on February 6 caused widespread destruction in both countries.
The initial earthquake emanated from a shallow depth produced violent shaking that affected areas hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter. The first quake was followed by a 7.5 magnitude event about nine hours later, as well as hundreds of smaller aftershocks.
Media outlets report contrasting scenes of rescue efforts on both sides of the border.
While thousands of well-equipped rescue workers and sniffer dogs continue to scramble among the rubbles to find survivors, no such thing is happening in opposition-held north-west Syria.
No international aid group has come to this part of Syria, according to BBC.
Rescue efforts are reportedly limited to a few Spanish doctors and White Helmets, a Syrian volunteer organization.
According to Turkish officials, arrest warrants have been issued to 113 contractors over faulty construction of buildings that collapsed in the earthquake.
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