Turkish authorities have reported that as of Saturday, February 18, more than 44,000 people had died as a result of the terrible earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.
Yunus Sezer, the chief of Turkey’s disaster service, said that rescue efforts would be “essentially concluded” by Sunday night because there were just a few bodies left as of press time.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck on February 6 was first reported as having killed three persons on Saturday by the official news agency Anadolu. A 12-year-old was among them, but the agency later confirmed that he had passed away.
After a married couple and a child spent 296 hours under the rubble in the Turkish city of Antakya, photos showed rescuers putting the two on stretchers.
The 12-year-old was among the three youngsters that perished, according to the agency’s later report.
Teams on Friday pulled four people alive from the rubble, including a 45-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy, in the surrounding Hatay province.
In the subsequent days, rescues that were initially welcomed with cheers and relief have been received more soberly.
The official death toll from the earthquake, which now stands at 44,330, was reported to be 40,642 in Turkey and 3,688 in Syria by officials and medical personnel. Since days ago, the death toll from Syria has not altered.
Several people were sleeping in homes that had not been designed to withstand such strong shocks when the earthquake in one of the seismically active regions of the planet struck populous areas.