More than 4,200 people died following devastating earthquakes on the Turkish-Syrian border in Syria and Turkey according to the latest information by Turkish authorities in the early hours of Tuesday.
Yunus Sezer, the head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), gave the number of dead in Turkey at 2,921, while 15,834 others were injured. In Syria, at least 1,300 people were killed, according to the Ministry of Health and the rescue organization White Helmets on Monday evening.
The final extent of the disaster in the border region remained unclear, with numerous people missing under rubble. Rescue workers continued the search for survivors.
According to initial estimates, at least 2,000 buildings collapsed in Turkey, including a hospital in İskenderun.
Turkey has formally requested help from NATO allies to tackle the aftermath of the earthquakes, the strongest of which struck at 0117 GMT on Monday.
Condolences poured in from across the world, notably from the head of the United Nations, António Guterres, the European Union’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre and Pope Francis.
On Tuesday, Australia and New Zealand were the latest countries to pledge concrete aid to Turkey and Syria.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Canberra would give 10 million Australian dollars (6.9 million US dollars) to the two countries in humanitarian assistance through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said Wellington would provide 1.5 million New Zealand dollars (950,000 US dollars) to the IFRC responses in both Turkey and Syria to support teams to deliver essential relief items including food, tents, blankets, medicines and psychological support.