The earthquake in Turkey and Syria:

A woman cries for help under a pile of stones in Hatay province in Turkey. Close to her, a child lies lifeless on the ground.

Crying in the rain, a resident stands rubbing his hands in despair.

– They make noises, but no one comes, says a man who calls himself Deniz to Reuters.

– We are broken, we are broken. OMG. They cry out “save us”, but we cannot save them. How are we going to save them?

The cold winter makes it difficult for the rescue teams in Turkey and Syria, and more time-critical for the many trapped under the ruins.

On the night of Tuesday, temperatures dropped close to freezing.

Now there is a battle against the clock, says emergency medicine doctor Richard Edward Moon BBC.

TRAGEDY: The earthquake in Turkey will be the strongest to hit the country in 100 years, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller. Video: Anabelle Bruun, Dagbladet TV. Clips: Twitter, BNO News, Narrative Pakistan.
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An average adult can withstand temperatures down to around 21 degrees, without the body losing its ability to maintain heat, says the doctor.

But when it gets colder, you struggle.

– At that point, the body temperature essentially follows the temperature in the surroundings, and the speed at which it can happen will depend on the insulation the person has, or how much shelter they can have underground. But eventually, many of these unfortunate people will succumb to hypothermia.

Air and water are critical to staying alive. An adult loses up to 1.2 liters of water daily, Moon points out.

– The time around eight liters have been lost is when a person becomes critically ill, Moon tells the channel.

– No longer responding

Sanilurfa in Turkey is badly affected by the earthquake. The rescue crews have, among other things, tried to rescue survivors from a seven-storey building that has completely collapsed.

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Omer El Cuneyd (20) says France24 that he knows a family inside the ruins.

– Until 11 or 12 o’clock my friend still answered the phone, but now she no longer answers. She’s down there. I think the battery ran out, says the Syrian student.

The World Health Organization (WHO) expects significant increases in the death toll following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

The organization estimates that up to 20,000 may have died. But adds that the estimate comes with a great deal of uncertainty.

RUINS: Rescuers search through the remains of collapsed buildings in Hama, Syria. Photo: Omar Sanadik / AP
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– Unfortunately, we always see the same thing with earthquakes. The initial reports about the number of dead and injured rise quite significantly in the following week, says Catherine Smallwood, leading disaster officer in Europe for the WHO.

The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria has so far exceeded 4,800, the authorities in both countries state.

– Stay away

The Disaster Management Directorate of Turkey (AFAD) is asking people to stay away from roads and damaged buildings.

– Please keep the roads open and do not go into traffic unless necessary, so that the search and rescue crews and emergency vehicles directed to the earthquake zones can carry out their work, they write on Twitter.

The first earthquake struck on the night of Monday, with a magnitude of 7.8. The quake hit hardest in southeast Turkey and northwest Syria, but it could be felt as far away as Cairo, over 1,000 kilometers away.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls the earthquake the worst disaster in Turkey since 1939, and says you cannot predict how many more dead people will be found.

SLAMS: A Turkish reporter captures the dramatic moment an aftershock in Turkey hits the city of Malatya. Video: Jessica Maria Szymanska
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An official in the Disaster Management Directorate (AFAD) states that over 3,300 have been confirmed dead in Turkey. In addition, over 11,000 are injured.

In Syria, at least 812 deaths have been confirmed, according to the AFP news agency. Both rebel-controlled and regime-controlled areas are affected.

At the same time, Reuters reports on a new earthquake that was recorded on the night of Tuesday, Norwegian time.

According to the EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre), the earthquake was measured at 5.6.

At 08.43 on Tuesday, Reuters reports another 5.7 earthquake.

– Heartbreaking

The earthquake between Turkey and Syria hit an area with millions of war refugees and rival rebel groups that will make relief efforts difficult.

Almost twelve years have passed since civil war broke out in Syria. Today, the war is seemingly forgotten and repressed, but for many Syrians it never ended.

SEARCH: Two women cry as they watch aid crews search for survivors in Adana, Turkey.  Photo: Khalil Hamra / AP

SEARCH: Two women cry as they watch aid crews search for survivors in Adana, Turkey. Photo: Khalil Hamra / AP
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The earthquake that struck the border area between Turkey and Syria before dawn on Monday was a reminder of their fate.

Dramatic scenes are now unfolding in the area, with local rescue teams and survivors battling in the snow, rain and cold to scour the ruins in the hope of finding survivors.

– It is heartbreaking to see how quickly 12 million refugees and displaced persons in recent years have been forgotten, and that completely after the war broke out in Ukraine, says NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland to NTB.

Tens of thousands of war refugees

The powerful earthquake had its center north of Gaziantep in Turkey, a city with around 2 million inhabitants and close to half a million Syrian refugees.

Gaziantep is only 70 kilometers from the border with Syria, and many of the war refugees there lived in tent camps for the first few years. When Turkish authorities began to close camps in 2017, most moved into the city. There they ended up in poor and cramped working-class neighborhoods.

The destruction in Gaziantep is extensive, and the same is the case in the million-dollar cities of Adana and Diyarbakir, respectively further west and east in Turkey. Tens of thousands of Syrian war refugees also live in these cities, but no one yet has an overview of how many may have died there during the earthquake.

RESCUE: Aid crews rescue a prisoner from a collapsed building in Adana, Turkey.

RESCUE: Aid crews rescue a prisoner from a collapsed building in Adana, Turkey.
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The quake also hit hard in northwestern Syria, an area with over 4 million inhabitants, at least half of whom are internally displaced people who live in very miserable conditions in tent camps around Azaz and Afrin.

The area is controlled by rebels, and there are also a significant number of Turkish government soldiers among them, spread over at least six military bases.

The Arab and ethnic Turkmen rebels formally belong to the Syrian National Army (SNA), an alliance supported and controlled by Turkey, which also pays the soldiers.

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