Rescuers struggled to dig people out of the rubble of collapsed buildings on Tuesday in a "race against time" as the death toll from an earthquake across a wide area of Turkey and Syria passed 5,000.
The magnitude 7.8 quake - the deadliest in Turkey since 1999 - hit early on Monday and was followed by a second hours later.
“More than three thousand of our citizens have lost their lives. And the number of our wounded has reached 20,426 people. And 65 countries have requested help and support,” said Yunus Sezer, chairman of AFAD.
Thousands of buildings were toppled, hospitals and schools wrecked and tens of thousands of people were injured or left homeless in several Turkish and Syrian cities.
Attempts to reach survivors were also impeded by temperatures below freezing and close to 200 aftershocks, which made the search through unstable structures perilous.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate announced in a statement that it will provide 10 million Afghanis to Turkey and 5 million Afghanis to Syria.
The US, UN, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and other nations have also announced that they are preparing humanitarian assistance for the quake victims in these two nations.
"The Department of State is in close contact with our Turkish allies and our humanitarian partners and our initial assistance response is already underway. We are determined to provide any and all assistance to help those affected by these earthquakes,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
“The United Nations is mobilizing to support the emergency response, and so let's work together in solidarity to assist all those hit by this disaster, many of whom were already in dire need of humanitarian aid,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Today I can announce that the Australian Government will provide an initial $10 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected, through our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners and through humanitarian agencies,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
The death toll from the strong earthquake in south-eastern Turkey, near Syria's border, could rise eight-fold, the World Health Organisation has warned.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared seven days of national mourning due to the earthquake.
Erdogan wrote in his tweet, "Due to the earthquakes that took place in our country on February 6, 2023, a national mourning period was declared for seven days. Our flag will fly at half-mast until sunset on Sunday, February 12, 2023, all over our country and within the foreign representations."
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