Race against time for rescue efforts as death toll in Turkey-Syria earthquake crosses 11,200text_fields
Sanliurfa: The human cost of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, which by Wednesday had claimed almost 11,200 lives, has been highlighted in heartbreaking photos of a newborn pulled alive from the wreckage and a distraught father clutching his dead daughter's hand.
Since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, a makeshift army of rescuers has been searching the wreckage of various cities on both sides of the border for people still trapped among the dead, AFP reported.
As of Wednesday, 11,236 individuals have perished worldwide, 8,574 of them in Turkey and 2,662 in Syria, according to officials and medical personnel.
Time is running out for the thousands of injured people and others who are still believed to be trapped, World Health Organization director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned.
The future appears bleak, even for those who survived.
Many people have sought safety from the constant earthquakes, icy rain and snow-burning debris in mosques, schools, and even bus shelters.
There has been growing frustration over the long wait for assistance.
"I can't get my brother back from the ruins. I can't get my nephew back. Look around here. There is no state official here, for God's sake," said Ali Sagiroglu in Kahramanmaras.
"For two days we haven't seen the state around here... Children are freezing from the cold," he said.
A decade of civil war and aerial bombardment by Syria and Russia in northern Syria had already damaged hospitals, brought about the collapse of the economy, and caused a shortage of water, fuel, and electricity.
Even the joy of saving a newborn child was tainted with sadness in the rebel-held town of Jindayris.
She was still attached to her dead mother, who died in the disaster.
"We heard a voice while we were digging," Khalil al-Suwadi, a relative, told AFP.
"We cleared the dust and found the baby with the umbilical cord (intact) so we cut it and my cousin took her to the hospital."
Search teams and rescue supplies have started to arrive by plane, and dozens of countries, including the United States, China, and the Gulf States, have promised their support.
Winter storms have made several roads, some of which were already damaged by the earthquake, nearly impassable, adding to the misery and causing kilometre-long traffic jams in some areas.
In 10 provinces in the southeast of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency.