Death toll tops 31,000 one week after Turkey's quakes
Rescue teams in Turkey slowed down search efforts for quake victims on Monday, one week after the devastating earthquake that has so far killed at least 31,643 people in the country.
Some teams have started debris removal work, while emergency teams intensified efforts to provide necessities such as medical help, food and shelter for survivors.
About 238,500 search and rescue personnel are working in the field, and more than 158,000 people have been evacuated from the quake-hit regions so far, Turkey's disaster agency said Monday.
Among at least 574 children pulled from collapsed buildings who had no surviving parents, only 76 were handed to other family members, while 118 were settled in childcare institutions affiliated with the Family and Social Services Ministry, with hundreds of others still under medical treatment, according to Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay.
A total of 9,401 foreign personnel from 77 countries are involved in emergency efforts in the field, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday, adding seven more countries are expected to send rescue teams.
China has been actively providing support and assistance for Turkey and Syria since the massive earthquakes hit the two countries, said Zheng Yuandong, an official with the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).
The first batches of relief supplies provided by the Chinese government arrived in Istanbul on February 11 and 12, including urgently needed blankets and cotton tents, Zheng added.
More supplies from China, including electrocardiograph machines, ultrasonic diagnostics equipment, medical transport vehicles and manual hospital beds, will be shipped this week, he said.
The rescue teams from China, including those dispatched by the Chinese government, have rescued over 10 survivors, Zheng told Xinhua.
In Turkey, tens of thousands of earthquake survivors are now living in tent cities or moving to other provinces for temporary shelter.
Twin earthquakes measuring 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6.