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Turkey-Syria quake deaths to top 50K: UN relief chief Martin Griffiths

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UN humanitarian head Martin Griffiths, the death toll from the huge earthquake in Turkey and Syria may ‘double or more’ from its present level of 28,000 people.

Griffiths landed in Turkey’s southern city of Kahramanmaras on Saturday, the epicentre of the first 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked millions of people in the early hours of Monday.

“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 speaking to Sky news.

Two powerful earthquakes killed 29,789, people and left 98,685, injured in one of the worst disasters in the region in a century.

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. Additionally, there are 8,294 foreign rescuers.

“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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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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