Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll surpasses 11,000

The death toll from the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria has reached at least 11,104, according to authorities.

In Turkey, the death toll has risen to at least 8,574, with nearly 50,000 others reported injured, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a televised briefing on Wednesday, during a visit to disaster areas near the epicenter of the earthquake in Monday.

In Syria, at least 2,530 were reported killed in government-held and rebel-held areas, officials said.

Aid agencies and emergency workers say the death toll is likely to rise further as many people are still trapped under the rubble and freezing weather is hampering rescue efforts.

70 countries have offered aid to Ankara, and more than 53,000 people are working in the disaster zone, with new teams from Turkey and abroad continuing to arrive in the area.

According to the WHO, the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria affected about 23 million people.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.

“The current situation requires us to take extraordinary measures. We declare our 10 provinces where the earthquake occurred as disaster zones. We have decided to declare a state of emergency based on the powers given by Article 119 of the Constitution so that search and rescue operations and all ancillary activities can be carried out expeditiously. This decision will include 10 provinces and will last for three months,” Erdogan said.

On Monday, a series of earthquakes up to 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Turkey and affected the border areas with Syria.

Emergency crews and volunteers continue to search for people under the ruins. Many residents were evacuated from their homes and spent the night in shelters and cars.

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