Death toll rises to 43,556
At least 43,556 people have died in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes that hit the country’s southeast two weeks ago.
“This is not a small number at all,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, announcing the latest figures during a live interview with state-run broadcaster TRT on Wednesday.
Turkey’s 11 provinces were struck by two major earthquakes of magnitudes of 7.7 and 7.6 on Feb.6, both epicenter in Kahramanmaras.
A third quake on Monday evening caused further damage particularly in Turkey's border province of Hatay, leaving at least six people dead.
According to Interior Minister Soylu, the two major earthquakes on Feb.6 have been followed by 7, 930 aftershocks.
Except for two buildings in Hatay, all search and rescue efforts have been terminated, Soylu said.
Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) on Tuesday said over 448,000 survivors have so far been evacuated out of the earthquake zone. AFAD added that some 300,000 tents and 6,375 container homes were delivered to disaster areas.
The devastating tremors of Feb.6 have also left hundreds of thousands of people without a roof on top in severe winter conditions.
Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum on Wednesday announced that around 156,000 buildings were either collapsed, in urgent need of demolition, or severely damaged during thee tremors.