People are standing in front of the rubble of a collapsed building in Hatay: the number of victims is increasing
Photo: MARTIN DIVISEK / EPA
A good week after the earthquake disaster in the Turkish-Syrian border area, the number of dead has risen to more than 40,000.
In Turkey alone, the number is 35,418, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday, according to the state news agency Anadolu.
5,900 deaths were recently reported from Syria.
Just over a week ago, early Monday morning, the first 7.7-magnitude tremor shook the region, followed hours later by a second severe 7.6-magnitude tremor.
The civil protection agency Afad has registered more than 2,400 aftershocks so far.
Thousands more victims are feared.
According to United Nations estimates, the number could rise to 50,000 or more.
It is becoming increasingly unlikely that the helpers will find any survivors.
However, Turkish media reported several rescues on Tuesday morning.
In the province of Hatay, according to the state news agency Anadolu, a Ukrainian rescue team rescued a 26-year-old woman after 201 hours under the rubble.
A little later, according to CNN Turk, a 65-year-old Syrian man and a young girl were recovered from the remains of a collapsed building in Antakya.
On Tuesday evening, the Reuters news agency reported that a 77-year-old man was rescued alive in Adiyaman about 212 hours after the quake.
The information could not be independently verified.
WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge described the quake as the worst natural disaster in the region in a century.
Around 26 million people in Turkey and Syria need humanitarian assistance, he said at an online press conference.
The need for help is huge and growing by the hour.