Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: near to 44,000 deads

In addition to the death toll, authorities have confirmed that more than 85,000 people are reported injured and thousands are still missing.

The latest toll from Turkey's disaster management agency, AFAD, brings the death toll from Monday's earthquake to 38,044, bringing the total to near to 44,000 after adding the more than 5,800 dead in Syria.

Local authorities have confirmed that  around 85,000 injured after consecutive earthquakes measuring 7.8, 7.6 and 5.4 on the richter scale, devastated the areas of central and southern Turkey, and northwestern Syria. Three geological movements with their respective aftershocks - more than 500 were recorded in five days - occurred along the East Anatolian fault.


National emergency plan

Erdogan announced a national emergency plan that will last at least three months in the affected provinces and allow time to coordinate rescue actions and open dialogue with the international community. His Syrian counterpart took the same decision.

The number of casualties and injuries will be higher. Many people are still missing in the rubble of the collapsed buildings. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the death toll will continue to increase as the days go by. "Unfortunately, we always see the same thing with earthquakes, which is that the initial reports of the number of people who have died or been injured will increase significantly in the week that follows," Catherine Smallwood, WHO's senior emergency official for Europe, told AFP.

Adelheid Marschang, head of the WHO, estimates that around 23 million people will be affected by the consequences. "WHO is aware of Turkey's strong response capacity and considers that the main unmet needs could be in Syria in the short to medium term," he said after a meeting.