Death Toll In Turkey-Syria Quake Surpass 44,000

The death toll on Saturday rose to more than 44,000 from the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria with the body of former Ghana international footballer Christian Atsu also found beneath a collapsed building in Antakya.

The number of people found alive under the rubble have dropped to only a handful in recent days and the head of Turkey’s disaster agency, Yunus Sezer, said rescue operations would be “largely completed” by Sunday night.

State news agency Anadolu initially reported on Saturday three people were found alive nearly two weeks after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit on February 6. But the agency later reported that one of them, a 12-year-old, had died.

Anadolu images showed rescuers placing a man and a woman on stretchers after the married couple and a child spent 296 hours under the rubble in the southeastern Turkish city of Antakya.

The agency later reported three of their children had died including the 12-year-old.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca shared a video of the 40-year-old mother in a field hospital receiving treatment. “She is conscious,” he tweeted.

AFP correspondents said rescuers from Kyrgyzstan continued working in Antakya with the hope of finding more people pulled out alive after thermal tests showed signs of life.

Teams on Friday pulled four people alive from the rubble, including a 45-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy, in the surrounding Hatay province.


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