Rescue teams have been working since Tuesday morning to free people trapped under the rubble of buildings in southern Turkey, as the death toll from Monday's deadly earthquake rose to nearly 3.000. Another 1.444 deaths were recorded in neighboring Syria.
The 7,8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and neighboring Syria early Monday tore apart apartment buildings, damaged hospitals and left thousands injured or homeless.
Nearly 8.000 people have been rescued from 4.758 buildings destroyed by the earthquake, according to Turkey's Disaster Management Agency (AFAD), according to their latest statement.
Agency chief Yunus Sezer said 2.921 people had died in Turkey as the aftershocks continued. Another 5,6-magnitude earthquake hit central Turkey on Tuesday, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center, it said.
Freezing weather hampered overnight search efforts for survivors, while worsening conditions for people trapped under the debris or left homeless.
The quake was the largest recorded worldwide by the US Geological Survey since the South Atlantic earthquake in August 2021.
It is the deadliest earthquake in Turkey since a similarly sized earthquake in 1999, which killed 17.000 people. Nearly 16.000 people were injured in Monday's earthquake.
At least 1.444 people have been killed in Syria and about 3.500 wounded, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescuers in the northwestern province.
Poor internet connectivity and damaged roads between the hardest-hit cities have hampered aid efforts to deal with the crisis.
The effects of the earthquake add to the devastation of more than 11 years of civil war in Syria.
A UN aid official said fuel shortages and harsh winter weather were also hampering the response.