Rescue teams in Syria and Turkey race against time to find more earthquake survivors

Members of NGOs Deathcare Embalming Team and Turkish Kurt-Ar search for bodies
Members of NGOs Deathcare Embalming Team and Turkish Kurt-Ar search for bodies Copyright AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
Copyright AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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The window for finding more survivors from the Syria-Turkey earthquakes grows smaller each day. Meanwhile, efforts to get crucial aid and resources to rebel-held Syrian regions face huge difficulties.


It's been 12 days since twin earthquakes tore through Northern Syria and Southern Turkey yet emergency responders are still pulling survivors from the rubble  even as the window for finding people alive continues to shrink.

In the Turkish city of Antakya, the capital of the devastated Hatay province, a couple and their son were extracted from the ruins of their apartment building. Unfortunately, the 12-year-old boy later died from his injuries in hospital.

Hatay is one of the worst hit of the 11 provinces in the Turkish disaster zone with the death toll reaching over 40,000. Combined with official Syrian figures, the total number of dead is in excess of 45,000.

Rebel-held Syrian regions need more help

While relief continues to make its way to Turkey and certain parts of Syria, aid workers say the needs of the survivors in the rebel-held areas are not being met, partly due to the slow arrival of assistance.

On Friday, the United Nations said over 140 trucks carrying desperately-needed resources had crossed into rebel-held northwestern Syria from Turkey since the massive quake.

Before the disaster, almost all crucial humanitarian aid for the more than four million people living there was delivered through just one crossing at Bab al-Hawa.

Operations there were temporarily disrupted by the earthquake and it took four days to reopen the border crossing.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has agreed to let the UN open two more in order to get more aid to the region. 

Meanwhile, a UN delegation visited the Syrian town of Jindairis, one of the most affected Syrian cities. During the inspection, United Nations Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, David Carden, called for a step up in relief efforts in the area.

"Jandairis, I'm shocked by the scale of the destruction, I've never seen anything like it in all my life," he said. "There are huge needs, obviously particularly in shelters. Also, people need fresh water, they have medical needs and we need to scale up the response to help the people."

A lack of resources is not the only concern for Syrian survivors - an outbreak of cholera is threatening to make the situation in the country much worse.

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