The death toll in Turkey and Syria has climbed to more than 41,000. According to media reports, many survivors are enduring near-freezing winter temperatures, having been left homeless by the devastation in cities in both countries.
Focus has shifted to supporting survivors and with much of the region’s sanitation infrastructure damaged by the earthquakes.
The health authorities face a daunting task in trying to ensure that people now remain disease-free.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, damage assessment of buildings, of which tens of thousands were destroyed, will be completed in a week and reconstruction will begin within months.
The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday said, it was particularly concerned by the welfare of people in northwestern Syria, a rebel-held region with little access to aid. It asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to open more border crossing points with Turkey to allow aid to get through. Local media reported that across the border, in Syria, relief efforts have been hampered by civil war.