Earthquake death toll exceeds 21,000 in Turkey
During a speech in the quake-hit Diyarbakir province, the Turkish President reveals the latest death toll in Turkey.
The death toll from the devastating earthquakes in Turkey has increased to 21,043 people, with over 80,000 others injured, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
"A total of 21,043 citizens were killed, and 80,097 citizens sustained injuries," Erdogan said during his speech in the quake-hit Diyarbakir province.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday was one of the deadliest natural disasters to strike the region this century, and according to a report by The New York Times, dozens of countries sent rescue teams to help in the search. Experts warned that the window for finding survivors was closing in the aftermath of the quake.
Yesterday's death toll from the earthquake that struck Syria rose to more than 3,300 people, but rescue teams confirmed that many are still under the rubble.
"There are widespread appeals from citizens calling for the need to secure aid in terms of medicines and medical equipment," Al Mayadeen's correspondent to Aleppo said.
More than 166,000 search and rescue personnel are currently working in the field, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), which added that almost 92,700 people have been evacuated from quake-hit regions so far.
On Friday, Erdogan, who has so far visited certain affected areas and met with earthquake victims, said that Turkey's history is challenged by one of the biggest disasters to hit it.
A state of emergency for three months has been declared by the Turkish President in the 10 affected provinces, and seven days of national mourning have been announced in the wake of the disaster.
In Syria, President Bashar Al-Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad visited on Friday morning the earthquake survivors at Aleppo University Hospital.
The Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic published pictures showing Al-Assad and his wife as they inspected the condition of the survivors inside the hospital.
The Lebanese Red Cross' delegation director in Syria, Walid Semaan, told Al Mayadeen that the team working in Syria is trained to find victims and survivors under the rubble.
Read: Turkey-Syria earthquake search operations underway, toll exceeds 21K
Rescuers were scouring debris on Friday nearly 100 hours after the 7.8-magnitude massive earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on Monday.
While disaster-stricken Syria could not receive aid because of the sanctions imposed on it, a group of independent UN experts urged on Friday the international community to lift sanctions on Syria in order to address the excruciating pain of civilians who suffered tremendous physical and material losses in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
Similarly, Geir Pedersen, the UN Special Envoy for Syria stressed on Thursday the need to avoid "politicization" of aid to earthquake victims in Syria and urged Washington and Brussels to ensure there were "no impediments".
In the same context, Bouthaina Shaaban, the Syrian Presidency’s Special Advisor, indicated that Western countries are not providing necessary aid to the Syrian government, which is dealing with the fallout of the devastating earthquake, and only send them to areas in Syria that are controlled by militant terrorist groups.