The death toll from the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey has reached at least 45,000, the country’s disaster management agency, AFAD, said early Wednesday.
On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.
More than 13 million people in Turkey have been affected by the quakes as well as many in northwestern Syria.
On Tuesday, Turkey president pledged to reconstruct the country’s southern region in the wake of the powerful earthquakes.
“With the completion of debris removal activities, we are starting the reconstruction and revival of our region,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a press briefing in Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province, where the quakes had their epicenter.
“In a few months, we are starting the construction of 309,000 houses, including village houses, throughout the earthquake zone,” he added.
AFAD said more than 11,000 aftershocks occurred following the earthquakes.
In addition, 6,368 search and rescue personnel are still working in the earthquake-hit areas, while there are more than 234,000 personnel from AFAD, the police and military and volunteer groups.
More than 18,000 vehicles including excavators, cranes, bulldozers, trucks, water trucks and trailers are being used during recovery efforts, said the agency.
It also said that more than 358,000 tents have been installed for quake-hit victims in need of shelter. Container cities are also being set up in 11 provinces and 332 locations.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE