The death toll across Turkey and Syria following massive catastrophic earthquake last Monday has reached at least 34,179.
Turkish Emergency Coordination Center SAKOM said that the death toll in Turkey has reached 29,605. Meanwhile, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA, the confirmed death toll in Syria is 4,574 which includes more than 3,160 in opposition-held parts of the northwestern part of the country.
In the meantime, Turkey's president called the quake "the disaster of the century".
Turkish officials say some 13.5 million people were affected in an area spanning roughly 450 km from Adana in the west to Diyarbakir in the east. In Syria, people were killed as far south as Hama, 250 km from the epicentre. Some who died in Turkey were refugees from Syria’s war.
Meanwhile, as a part of India’s ‘Operation Dosth’, the sixth plane carrying rescue personnel, essentials and medical equipment for earthquake relief efforts reached Turkey on Thursday. The sixth flight carried more rescue teams, dog squads, and essential medicines for the quake-hit country.
In the meantime, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday conceded "shortcomings" after criticism of his government's response to the massive earthquake that has killed over 15,000 people in Turkey and Syria. The sprawling scale of the disaster that flattened thousands of buildings, trapping an unknown number of people, has swamped relief operations already hampered by freezing weather.
It is reported that survivors have been left to scramble for food and shelter -- and in some cases watch helplessly as their relatives called for rescue, and eventually went silent under the debris.