The death toll from the earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and war-ravaged northern Syria is nearing 8,000 with at least 7,700 confirmed dead.
Also, rescuers continued to race against time early Wednesday to pull survivors from the rubble before they succumbed to cold weather two days after the earthquake tore through the two areas.
The last two days have brought dramatic rescues, including small children emerging from mounds of debris more than 30 hours after Monday’s pre-dawn quake. But there was also widespread despair and growing anger at the slow pace of rescue efforts in some areas.
“It’s like we woke up to hell,” said Osman Can Taninmis, whose family members were still beneath the rubble in Hatay, Turkey’s hardest-hit province. “We can’t respond to absolutely anything. Help isn’t coming, can’t come. We can’t reach anyone at all. Everywhere is destroyed.”
In Syria, residents found a crying newbordn still connected by the umbilical cord to her mother, who was dead. The baby was the only member of her family to survive a building collapse in the small town of Jinderis.
Search teams from nearly 30 countries and aid pledges poured in. But with the damage spread across several cities and towns — some isolated by Syria’s ongoing conflict — voices crying for help from within mounds of rubble fell silent.
Monday’s magnitude 7.8 quake and powerful aftershocks cut a swath of destruction that stretched hundreds of kilometers (miles) across southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria. The shaking toppled thousands of buildings and heaped more misery on a region wracked by Syria’s 12-year civil was and refugee crisis.
CurrentPH News Service