Turkey and Syria earthquake death toll passes 7,800 as rescue efforts falter

Aftershocks and freezing weather hamper efforts of rescue teams searching for survivors after 7.8-magnitude quake

Aftershocks, freezing temperatures and damaged roads are hampering efforts to tackle the enormous humanitarian emergency triggered by Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria, with 7,800 people now confirmed dead and 380,000 others seeking refuge in Turkey alone.

As the scale of the devastation from the initial quake – and a second tremor – became clearer, the Turkish authorities declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces and the World Health Organization warned that the number of fatalities could exceed 20,000.

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