The race against time and cold continues in Turkey and northern Syria to extricate survivors of the violent earthquakes that ravaged the region on Monday, leaving several thousand dead.
According to the latest official report - which is still likely to increase - nearly twenty hours after the first of the three tremors, with a magnitude of 7.8, more than 4,300 people were killed, including 2,921 in Turkey according to the organization Public Disaster Management (Afad) and more than 1,440 in Syria.
Nearly 20,000 people were injured.
Turkey hit hard by two violent earthquakes
Rescuers fought hard in the cold, in the pouring rain or snow, sometimes with their bare hands, to save every life that could be saved.
The bad weather that hangs over Anatolia complicates the task of rescue and makes the fate of the survivors even more bitter.
First international aid
International aid to Turkey should, however, begin to arrive on Tuesday with the first teams of rescuers, from France and Qatar in particular.
US President Joe Biden has promised his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan "all the help needed, whatever it is".
Read alsoEarthquakes in Turkey and Syria: why are the results so heavy?
The French planned to go in particular to Kahramanmaras, epicenter of the first earthquake, a region difficult to access and deeply bruised buried under the snow.
Two American detachments of 79 rescue workers each were preparing to go there on Monday, according to the White House.
According to the Turkish president, 45 countries have offered their help.
On the other hand, in Syria, the appeal launched by the authorities in Damascus was mainly heard by its Russian ally, promising rescue teams "in the next few hours", while according to the army, more than 300 Russian soldiers are already on the ground. places to assist with rescue.
The UN also reacted, but insisted that the aid provided would go "to all Syrians throughout the territory", part of which is not under government control.
In these rebel-held areas, bordering Turkey in northwestern Syria, at least 700 dead have been counted.
Taking advantage of the chaos created by the earthquake, around 20 suspected fighters from the Islamic State (IS) group escaped from a military prison in Rajo, controlled by pro-Turkish rebels.
The balance sheets on both sides of the border have continued to increase and given the extent of the damage they were to increase as the search progressed.
In Turkey alone, the authorities have counted nearly five thousand collapsed buildings.
And the drastic drop in temperatures puts the wounded, stuck in the ruins, at an additional risk of hypothermia.
185 aftershocks Monday
The World Health Organization has said itself that it expects the worst and fears "tolls eight times higher than the initial numbers".
During the day on Monday, no less than 185 aftershocks were recorded, following the first two tremors: one of 7.8 which occurred in the middle of the night (04:17 local time), the other, of magnitude 7.5, at midday, the two in southeastern Turkey.
Read alsoDeadly earthquakes in Turkey: why the earth is shaking so hard in this region
Dormitories have been opened by the local authorities in gymnasiums or colleges or even in mosques to accommodate the survivors.
But for fear of new earthquakes, many residents preferred to spend the night outside, as in Sanliurfa, in southeastern Turkey.
“Who isn't afraid?
Everyone is afraid!
“, assured Mustafa Koyuncu, 55, crammed with his wife and five children in the family car.
This earthquake is the largest in Turkey since the earthquake of August 17, 1999, which caused the death of 17,000 people, including a thousand in Istanbul.
The Turkish head of state has declared national mourning for seven days and the closure of schools for the week.