The World Health Organization estimated that the final death toll in the earthquake that shook southeastern Turkey and northern Syria yesterday could reach 20,000.
With each passing hour this number becomes more and more real.
As of this hour, the death toll stands at 8,364 men and women.
In Turkey there have already been 5,894 dead, in Syria - 2,470.
The "White Helmets" organization, which operates in the area held by the rebels in northern Syria, announced that the number is expected to increase significantly.
Destruction in Malatya, this morning.
"Where shall we go?", Photo: E.P
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared a state of emergency in ten districts of the country yesterday, but some residents in the disaster areas are very frustrated with the pace of Ankara's handling of the crisis.
"There is not a single person here who has come to help," a resident of Malatya, whose house collapsed and his family members are missing, told Reuters, "What are we going to do? Where are we going to go?"
A resident of Albistan takes out food and drink left in a collapsed house, photo: AFP
"We don't have a tent, we don't have a stove, we don't have anything," lamented in a conversation with AP Aysan Kurt, one of the survivors, "We all get wet in the rain and the children suffer from cold. We didn't die of hunger or the earthquake, but we will die of the cold."
A girl in Kahramanmarsh.
"Our children are freezing", photo: Reuters
Occasionally, the rescuers find survivors, who have survived against all odds.
Thus, for example, almost two days after the earthquake, a 3-year-old boy, named Arif Kan, was found under the rubble of a collapsed residential building in Kahramanmarsh, a city not far from the epicenter.
While his lower body was trapped under concrete blocks and iron rods, the rescuers covered Basheh's upper body with a blanket to protect him from the cold and sawed around the lower body to extract the boy.
Watching the rescue from the side with tears in his eyes was little Arif's father, Ertogrul, who himself had been rescued not long before.
"Now Kahramanmarsh's hope has a name, and it is Arif Khan," said a Turkish television reporter who broadcast from the field.
A few hours later, the 10-year-old Toul Addis was rescued from the ruins.
It happened in the city of Adiyaman.
Her grandfather was waiting for her outside and gently kissed her as she was taken to the ambulance, to the applause of those around her.
Even in Syria, rescue cases that are almost complete are occasionally recorded.
Thus, an entire family was rescued yesterday in the town of Bisnia.
One of the rescued girls in the Syrian Bisnia - and the joy of the rescuers, photo: Reuters
24 thousand Turkish rescuers were joined in the last day by teams from 24 countries, including Israel, but it seems that these numbers are still not enough - certainly considering that with every hour that passes, the chance of finding survivors decreases.
The freezing weather does not help survival among the ruins either.
According to estimates by the World Health Organization, up to 23 million people may be affected by the earthquake, which has effectively turned into a humanitarian crisis on top of another humanitarian crisis: the disaster area is home to millions of refugees who fled the Assad regime during the 12-year civil war in Syria.
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