The pre-dawn quake was centered in the town of Pazarcik in Turkey’s southeastern Kahramanmaras province and was followed by several powerful aftershocks. Thousands of buildings were toppled on both sides of the border, and the death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched for survivors in the massive piles of rubble.
- Death toll rises to over 25,000 in Turkey, Syria
- White Helmets stop search and rescue
- 121 Turkish citizens rescued in past 24 hours, official says
- USAID announces $85 million for earthquake relief
- Syria in need of more help: ‘It’s like a drop in the ocean’
Death toll rises to over 25,000 in Turkey, Syria
“In addition to the already collapsed buildings, the other ones whose number can be expressed in hundreds of thousands have also become uninhabitable due to their damages. So far, the total loss of life in the earthquake area has reached 21,043 and the number of injured rose to 80,097,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said.
121 citizens were pulled alive from the rubble over the past 24 hours, according to Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.
In Syria, the death toll has risen to over 3,500.
-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres
White Helmets stop search and rescue
-ABC News’ Will Gretsky
US ‘ramping up’ assistance to Turkey, Syria: White House
“In Turkey, a USAID Disaster Assistance and Response Team is already on the ground. And two of our most highly trained urban search and rescue teams are conducting operations in support of Turkish rescue efforts in Adana — one of the hardest-hit areas inside the country,” Kirby said. “These teams have nearly 200 personnel combined between them, specialized equipment and canine support dogs, as well.”
Kirby said they’ve been able to “expand their operational reach with the support of U.S. military Blackhawk helicopters” to try and get around the extensive damage to roads and bridges.
“To date, they have been able to cover more than 630 sites across Adana [in Turkey],” Kirby said. “In Syria, our humanitarian partners continue to urgently scale up response efforts to reach people in need. That work will include, or has included, chartered flights that are transporting essential medical supplies and teams distributing hot meals and other food.”
The United Nations and its partners have successfully completed two humanitarian convoys into northwest Syria, Kirby said. One partner delivered 14 additional truckloads of supplies through the Bab-al-Hawa Crossing on the Turkey-Syria border, “totaling now 20 trucks of critical medicines, food and water to people in need over the last two days,” he said.
Kirby said U.S. sanctions imposed on Syria “will not prevent or inhibit prohibiting humanitarian assistance.”
-ABC News’ Justin Gomez
Death toll rises to over 23,000 in Turkey, Syria
In Turkey, at least 20,213 people were killed and more than 80,000 others were injured, according to officials.
Meanwhile, at least 3,507 people were killed and 7,115 others were injured in both government- and rebel-controlled areas of northwestern Syria, according to combined figures from the Syrian Ministry of Health and the Syrian civil defense and medical group that operates in opposition-held areas, known as the White Helmets.
The Associated Press reported that the rising death toll in Turkey and Syria is now higher than the number of people who died as a result of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region, which caused the nuclear accident in Fukushima.