Turkey ends earthquake rescue efforts in nine of 11 provinces

A woman walks past a destroyed house in the village of Polat, Turkey.
The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria is now 44,377.

Rescue work has ended in nine of the 11 Turkish provinces hit by a devastating earthquake a fortnight ago.

Yunus Sezer, head of the country’s disaster agency AFAD, said operations are only ongoing in Kahramanmaras, the site of the epicentre, and Hatay, one of the hardest-hit provinces.

“We continue these efforts every day with the hope of reaching a living brother or sister,” he added.

While rescue operations continue in the two provinces, there have been no signs of anyone being dug from the rubble alive since three members of one family - a mother, father and 12-year-old boy - were extracted from a collapsed building in Hatay on Saturday. The boy later died.

Watch the moment a father, mother and 12-year-old boy were pulled from the rubble after being trapped for 296 hours

The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria is now 44,377. The UN has said the full scope of the deaths in Syria may take time to determine.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took a helicopter tour of southern Turkey and pledged a further $100 million (£83 million) in aid to help the region.

“This is going to be a long-term effort,” Mr Blinken said at Incirlik Air Base, a joint US-Turkish facility that has coordinated the distribution of disaster aid.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken helps US military personnel carry aid at Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey. Credit: AP

“The search and rescue, unfortunately, is coming to an end. The recovery is on, and then there will be a massive rebuilding operation.” President Joe Biden announced $85 million (£70 million) for Turkey and Syria days after the earthquake. The US has also sent a search and rescue team, medical supplies and equipment.

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