Rescue efforts continue in Turkey and Syria as death toll rises

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Rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria are ongoing as, two days after a massive earthquake, the death toll has risen to more than 9,600.

Rescuers in both countries warned that the death toll would keep rising as some survivors said help had yet to arrive.

The death toll rose above 7,100 in Turkey. In Syria, already devastated by 11 years of war, the confirmed toll climbed to more than 2,500 overnight, according to the Syrian government and a rescue service operating in the rebel-held northwest.

Turkish authorities said 13.5 million people were affected in an area spanning roughly 450 km (280 miles) from Adana in the west to Diyarbakir in the east. In Syria, the quake killed people as far south as Hama, 100km from the epicentre. Turkey’s disaster management agency said the number of injured was above 38,000.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces. Residents in several damaged Turkish cities have voiced anger and despair at what they said was a slow and inadequate response by the authorities.

A lack of resources

Rescue workers have had difficulties reaching the worst-hit areas being held back by destroyed roads, poor weather, a lack of resources and heavy equipment.

The head of the World Health Organization said the rescue efforts face a race against time, with the chances of finding survivors alive diminishing with every passing minute.

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