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Death toll of massive earthquake in Turkey, Syria exceeds 20,000: report

The death toll of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, Turkey’s deadliest this century, has now risen to 17,134. Meanwhile, Syria has confirmed 3,162 fatalities, increasing the total death toll to over 20,000.

With over 6,500 buildings collapsed and countless others damaged, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority estimates that over 28,000 homeless individuals have been relocated out of the quake zone so far. Around 5,000 have left by road and over 23,000 by plane.

Hotels in the Aegean resort areas, such as Marmaris, Antalya, Alanya, Fethiye, Bodrum, İzmir, and Cappadocia, have allocated thousands of rooms for the quake survivors.

The Turkish Hoteliers Federation reported that guests from the disaster zone started to arrive in Antalya by Wednesday morning.

The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, stated that the government is doing its best to provide temporary housing, with over 15,729 individuals accommodated in state guesthouses, student dormitories, and hotels.

Despite the efforts, many survivors are unwilling to leave the region due to waiting for their family and friends to be rescued from the rubble.

Additionally, the earthquake area faces another problem of sanitation, with limited access to public toilets and mobile toilets, as seen in Antakya’s Hatay district.

The UN aid chief, Martin Griffiths, will visit Gaziantep, Aleppo, and Damascus in Syria this weekend to assess the situation and determine how the United Nations can support the earthquake-stricken areas.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for more aid access to opposition-controlled northwest Syria, stating “roads are damaged, people are dying, now is the time to explore all possible avenues to get aid and personnel into all affected areas. We must put people first.”

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