Ankara: The death toll from devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this week is now at least 16,035, CNN reported citing the authorities.
At least 12,873 people have died in Turkey, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) on Thursday. In contrast, in Syria, the total number of fatalities is at least 3,162, including 1,900 in rebel-held areas in the northwest, according to the "White Helmets" civil defence group. CNN reported citing the official Syrian media, 1,262 people have been killed in the nation's areas under the control of the government.
The casualty count is likely to rise as rescue operations are underway in both countries.
Turkey on Tuesday announced a three-month state of emergency in the quake-hit regions, as per the Anadolu Agency report. Turkey is observing seven days of mourning after the devastating quakes. As per the news report, over 13 million people have been affected by earthquakes.
As per the CNN report, the Syrian government has said that it has established more than 100 shelters equipped with aid supplies for those affected by the earthquake in government-controlled areas, including Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Tartus and Latakia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted to "shortcomings" in earthquake response on Wednesday. He stressed that the weather conditions have added to the magnitude of the destruction caused by the earthquake. Erdogan made the remarks during his visit near the epicentre of Monday's earthquake.
"Of course, there are shortcomings. The conditions are obvious. It is not possible to be prepared for such a disaster. We will not leave any of our citizens uncared for," CNN quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying.
India is extending its support to Turkey through the ongoing crisis after earthquakes jolted the country on February 6. Earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes on the Richter scale, ripped through Turkey and Syria on February 6, followed by a series of aftershocks that caused huge devastation, loss of lives and damage to infrastructure in the two countries.