UN Death toll from two earthquakes expected to top 56000.webp

UN: Death toll from two earthquakes expected to top 56,000 Middle East Monitor

According to the United Nations, the death toll from last week’s earthquakes in northwestern Syria and southern Turkey could surpass 56,000 people.

The latest death toll is over 36,000, with at least 4,614 people dying in regime- and opposition-controlled areas of Syria and at least 31,643 in Turkey.

On Monday last week, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake followed by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake collapsed entire apartment blocks and destroyed infrastructure.

There were more than 2,000 aftershocks between Monday and Saturday.

VIDEO: Hope remains in earthquake-stricken Turkey

Seven days later, all hopes that someone will emerge from the rubble alive are dashed. In the Turkish city of Hatay, 176 hours after the earthquake, a woman was pulled out from under the building.

Turkey is believed to be moving from rescue to recovery operations. The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, has stated that search and rescue operations have ended as it is unlikely that anyone is alive and that they are now only looking for bodies.

According to the UN refugee agency, around 5.3 million people in Syria have been made homeless by the earthquake and need protection.

Opposition-held north-west Syria has been particularly hard hit, with earthquake damage and inclement weather making it difficult to deliver aid.

Aid, food and tents have arrived in north-west Syria four days after the quake, but local residents say it is far from enough given the scale of the disaster.