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Death toll from Turkey-Syria quake may cross 50,000: UN relief chief

Death toll from Turkey-Syria quake may cross 50,000: UN relief chief

Kahramanmaras:According to UN humanitarian head Martin Griffiths, the death toll from a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria may "double or more" from its present figure of 28,000.

Griffiths landed on Saturday in Kahramanmaras, a city in southern Turkey, which served as the epicentre of the first 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated millions of people's lives early on Monday, AFP reported.

During an interview with Sky News on Saturday, he mentioned the death toll and said, "I think it is difficult to estimate precisely as we need to get under the rubble but I'm sure it will double or more."

"We haven't really begun to count the number of dead," he said.

According to authorities and medical personnel, 24,617 individuals died in Turkey and 3,574 in Syria. 28,191 has been confirmed as the current number.

Despite the frigid weather that has made millions of people even more miserable and in need of assistance, tens of thousands of rescuers are searching destroyed neighbourhoods.

At least 870,000 people in Turkey and Syria urgently require hot meals, the UN has warned. There may have been up to 5.3 million homelessness cases in Syria alone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that about 26 million people have been impacted by the earthquake as it launched a rapid appeal on Saturday for $42.8 million to address urgent medical needs.

More than 32,000 people from Turkish organisations are reportedly contributing to search and rescue efforts, according to Turkey's disaster agency. 8,294 international rescuers are also present.

"Soon, the search and rescue people will make way for the humanitarian agencies whose job it is to look after the extraordinary numbers of those affected for the next months," Griffiths said in a video posted to Twitter.

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TAGS:SyriaTurkeyUnited NationsEarthquake
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