The 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey may have claimed the lives of as many as 20,000, according to authorities.
As Forbes reported:
Turkish government officials pegged the latest death toll in the country at 3,419, while in Syria, at least 812 people have died in parts of the country under the Assad regime’s control and at least 790 more were killed in rebel-held areas.
As rescuers search for survivors stuck under collapsed buildings, their efforts have been impeded by below-freezing temperatures of 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rescue efforts have also been hampered by at least 312 aftershocks that have rattled the region—including some above a 6.0 magnitude.
Five thousand six hundred buildings have collapsed, and several came down today following the aftershocks following the Turkey earthquake, the Associated Press reported.
Although the current recorded death toll is over 4,300 people, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted the total loss of life could exceed 20,000.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake affected several major population centers.
As The Guardian reported:
“The population of the ten provinces in southern Turkey affected by the earthquakes are home to 13.5 million people. So far, according to the Andalou agency, more than 5,600 buildings have collapsed.
“It is just after 6 am in Turkey, and we’re seeing stories of people rescued after a very long day and night, which means they survived not only the rubble’s collapse but the cold. There are many, many more who have not yet been found, with the WHO predicting the death toll could reach 20,000 in the coming days. For now, here are videos of a three-year-old toddler and a woman who were freed from collapsed buildings by rescuers.”
Below is a video of multiple buildings collapsing in Turkey:
The earthquake was also caught on a live broadcast:
An ancient castle dating back to the Roman and Byzantine times was also destroyed
CBS News reported that Gaziantep Castle, built as a watchtower between the second and fourth centuries AD under the Romans, collapsed in the earthquake that saw roughly 2,824 other buildings destroyed.