Turkish President Recep Erdoğan has announced a three-month state of emergency in the country to enable rapid search-and-rescue operations.
In a statement on Tuesday, Erdogan said the state of emergency would affect the 10 provinces hit by the earthquakes which occurred on Monday.
The death toll in the earthquakes, which affected Turkey and Syria, now stands at over 6,300.
The Turkish president said the country has recorded 3,549 deaths and 22,168 injured persons.
He added that seven days of mourning had also been declared.
“We declare the 10 provinces hit by earthquakes to be an area of disaster affecting the public life. By the power vested in us by article 119 of the constitution, we have decided to declare state of emergency in order for search and rescue operations and the following efforts to be carried out rapidly,” the statement reads.
“We will quickly complete the presidency and national assembly processes regarding this decision, which is to cover the 10 provinces and remain in effect for a period of three months.”
Erdogan said the weather conditions in the country had made rescue efforts difficult but donations from other countries had contributed to the extrication successes.
So far, 70 countries including Nigeria and 14 international organisations have offered aid.
“Our teams worked selflessly to reach the disaster areas and join the operations despite the difficulties due to weather conditions. What is more, the danger the large number of aftershocks cause in damaged structures negatively affect the works. We rapidly continue the search and rescue operations with the support of our citizens and volunteers regardless of the difficulty of the conditions,” the Turkish president added.
“Currently, our 53,317 search and rescue personnel are working right on the rubbles and this number keeps increasing by hour with the addition of teams both from Türkiye and abroad.
“And even a way larger number of civil servants, NGO staff and volunteers participate in the relief efforts. We also implement, step by step, the measures to meet the needs of the rescued victims including accommodation, food, clothing and heating. Thus far, 54,000 tents, 102,000 beds and other relief materials have been sent to the disaster victims in the region.
“Thus far, 70 countries and 14 international organisations have offered aid. I have spoken with 18 heads of state and government who have called us on the phone. I would like to thank all our friends, all the heads of state and government who have called us or sent messages to offer support and aid and have made statements during these difficult times of our country.
“The international community’s support is valuable to us in terms of psychological affect rather than the content of the aid to come.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned that the death toll may reach 20,000 as rescuers find more victims.
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