ANTAKYA: The number of fatalities in the earthquakes that devastated parts of southern Turkey and northern Syria is continuing to rise. As chances of finding more survivors have dwindled, some foreign search teams are beginning to leave.
Here’s a look at key developments Thursday from the aftermath of the earthquakes:
DEATH TOLL RISES
Turkey’s disaster management agency, AFAD, has raised the number of fatalities in Turkey from the magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 quakes that struck nine hours apart to 36,187. That pushed the combined death toll for Turkey and Syria to 39,875.
More than 108,000 people were injured in Turkey in the quakes that struck on Feb. 6, AFAD said.
The death toll is certain to increase as search teams sifting through the rubble find more bodies.
SOME SEARCH TEAMS DEPART
Onlookers at Istanbul Airport clapped to display gratitude to a 27-member team of Greek rescuers who were heading back home after ending their mission to search for survivors in the hard-hitcity of Adiyaman.
Team leader Ioannis Papastathis told Turkey’s state-runAnadolu Agencylate Wednesday that he was leaving Turkey with “unforgettable memories.”
“On the one hand, there was love and the warm welcome of the people, on the other hand, suffering. The destruction was huge. The weather was cold. These affected me a lot,” the agency quoted him as saying.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said close to 8,000 rescue and aid workers from 74 countries were still assisting Turkish teams in their efforts. Around 4,200 personnel from 15 countries have left, he said.
“I would like to thank each and every one of them,” Cavusoglu said during a joint news conference with his visiting counterpart from Costa Rica.
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