A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday, causing widespread destruction and taking thousands of lives.
Rescuers have been working tirelessly to search for survivors amidst the rubble, with help from search teams from over two dozen countries and aid pledges.
The quake has affected as many as 23 million people in the region, according to the World Health Organization, and is being described as a “crisis on top of multiple crises”.
In Turkey, the earthquake has affected 13 million of the country’s 85 million population, and the death toll has risen to 7,108.
Over 8,000 people have been rescued, and around 380,000 have taken refuge in government shelters or hotels. Meanwhile, the death toll in government-held areas of Syria has climbed to 1,250, and over 1,280 people have died in the rebel-held northwest.
Aid efforts in Syria have been hindered by the ongoing war and the isolation of the rebel-held region, which is surrounded by Russian-backed government forces and under Western sanctions.
The United Nations is “exploring all avenues” to get supplies to the area.
The affected region sits on top of major fault lines and has a history of frequent earthquakes, with 18,000 people losing their lives in a similarly powerful quake in 1999.
Many survivors in Turkey have had to sleep in their cars, outside, or in shelters, with cold temperatures and rain adding to their suffering.
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