Turkey quake: Death toll crosses 8000

Istanbul: Rescue teams are searching through the rubble for survivors on the third consecutive day of relief operations today in earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria.

Over 8000 people have been reported dead so far. Thousands more are injured. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 13 million of the country’s 85 million people were affected, and he declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces.

There were at least 6 aftershocks, and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu urged people not to enter damaged buildings due to the risks. “Our priority is to bring out people trapped under ruined buildings and to transfer them to hospitals,” he said. Syria’s state media reported that some buildings collapsed in the northern city of Aleppo and the central city of Hama. In Damascus, buildings shook and many people went down to the streets in fear. The quake jolted residents in Lebanon from their beds, shaking buildings for about 40 seconds.

In a bid to provide relief to the quake-hit Turkey, India is sending an Army medical team, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel, and medical supplies.