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More than 2,300 people have been killed in the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, and the weather has only made things worse

On Monday, a massive earthquake in Turkey and northwest Syria killed over 2,300 people and injured thousands more, flattening apartment buildings and heaping more destruction on Syrian cities already devastated by years of war.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which happened before dawn in the middle of a cold winter, was the worst to hit Turkey this century. In the early afternoon, there was another big quake with a magnitude of 7.7.

Deaths rise to more than 2,400

The disaster agency said that 1,498 people had died in Turkey. The government of Damascus and the United Nations both say that at least 716 people have died in Syria.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake happened early in the morning near the Turkish city of Gaziantep. It was followed by dozens of aftershocks and destroyed large parts of major Turkish cities in an area where millions of people have fled Syria’s civil war and other conflicts.

Syria has been in a civil war for more than 11 years, which has already caused a lot of damage. The health ministry said that 461 people had died and more than 1,326 had been hurt. A spokesperson for the United Nations said that 255 people had died in the rebel-held northwest of Syria.

The Norwegian Refugee Council said that the earthquake would only make things worse for the millions of Syrians who were already suffering because of the civil war.

Poor internet connections and damaged roads between some of the worst-affected cities in the south of Turkey, where millions of people live, made it hard to assess the level of damage and determine a course of action.


The winter’s cold will make things even more challenging

As night fell, people worried that hundreds or even thousands more could still be alive and trapped.

Freezing winter weather will make things worse for the many people who were hurt or left without homes, and it will make it harder to find survivors.

Overnight lows were forecasted to be below freezing in some areas. On Sunday and Monday, the country was hit by snowstorms. On Monday, it was raining.

It is already the deadliest earthquake in Turkey since 1999, when a similar-sized quake near Istanbul killed more than 17,000 people in the densely populated eastern Marmara Sea region.

President Tayyip Erdogan, who is getting ready for a tough election in May, called it a historic disaster and the worst earthquake to hit Turkey. He also said that authorities were doing everything they could; and he called for seven days of national mourning.


Global aid effort underway

Countries have moved quickly to send aid, people, and tools to areas of Turkey and Syria that were hit by earthquakes.

The European Union has sent search and rescue teams to Turkey to help, and the 27-country bloc’s Copernicus satellite system has been turned on to provide emergency mapping services. The EU said that it is also ready to help Syria through its programs to help people in need.

Britain is sending 76 experts in search and rescue, along with their gear and dogs, and an emergency medical team to Turkey. The UK also says it is talking to the UN about how to help the people who have been hurt in Syria.

The United States is putting together teams to help with search and rescue in Turkey. The US is also helping humanitarian groups respond to the destruction in Syria.

Russian rescue teams are getting ready to fly to Syria, and Russian troops who are already there are helping to clear debris and look for people who may still be alive. Russia has also offered to help Turkey, which has taken them up on their offer.

Greece, Turkey’s neighbor and longtime rival in the region, is sending a team of 21 rescue workers, two rescue dogs, a special rescue vehicle, a structural engineer, five doctors, and seismologists in a military transport plane.

The government of Lebanon, which is short on money, is sending soldiers, first responders from the Red Cross and Civil Defense, and firefighters to Turkey to help with the rescue efforts there.

The Swiss rescue dog service REDOG is sending 14 dogs and 22 rescue workers to Turkey.
Germany, Jordan, the Czech Republic, Japan, Austria, Egypt, Spain, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Italy, and France are all sending aid, firefighters, or rescue teams to the area.


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