Death toll surpasses 21,000 in earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

More than 21,000 people have been killed by the massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria. The 7.8-magnitude quake struck early Monday as people slept in the region. At least 17,674 people have died in Turkey, according to Turkish authorities. At least 3,377 have been killed in Syria. Agencies and rescue workers have warned that the figures are likely to rise higher with many people still trapped under the rubble.

Extreme cold weather is hampering rescue efforts to search for survivors of deadly earthquakes. Disaster agency of Turkey said, more than 28,000 citizens were evacuated from disaster areas in Kahramanmaras. The first UN aid convoy has reached rebel-held northwest Syria from Turkey. The chief of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that he was on his way to Syria. Chances of finding survivors is also fading as the 72-hour mark, that experts consider the most likely period to save lives has passed.

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