Damaged buildings are pictured in the southern province of Hatay, Türkiye, Feb. 8, 2023. (Xinhua/Shadati)
ISTANBUL/HATAY, Türkiye, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from Monday's devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria has surpassed 17,000, according to latest data.
The death toll in Türkiye from the earthquakes has reached 14,014 with 63,794 injured, media reported on Thursday, citing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In Syria, at least 1,581 were killed in government-held areas, and the death toll in the opposition-held region is 1,975, according to media reports.
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Türkiye's southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time (0117 GMT), followed by a magnitude 6.4 quake a few minutes later in the country's southern province of Gaziantep and a magnitude 7.6 earthquake at 1:24 p.m. local time (1024 GMT) in Kahramanmaras Province.
The tremors with 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes devastated almost 10 provinces in the country.
Rescuers carry out rescue operation on earthquake debris in the southern province of Hatay, Türkiye, Feb. 8, 2023. (Xinhua/Shadati)
Rescue teams have been racing against time to save those trapped under the rubble in the freezing weather. Citizens who have been trying to hear good news about their loved ones were waiting for signs of hope.
In quake-hit Hatay Province, the Chinese rescue team helped pull out a pregnant woman buried under the rubble of a collapsed building to safety in the wee hours of Thursday.
The Chinese team also gave professional advice and provided technical equipment during the rescue operation, said Zhao Yang, deputy leader of the Chinese rescue team.
The Turkish side has expressed gratitude for China's assistance and voiced its support for the Chinese team's rescue work. ■