Bodies in the street after the earthquake as anger for aid grows

Rubble in the Turkish city of Antioch

Whole city blocks were reduced to rubble in the city of Antioch

The bodies of people killed in Monday’s earthquake in southern Turkey are left on the streets as the hunt for survivors continues.

More than 7,000 people are known to have died in Turkey and northern Syria, which was also devastated by the earthquake.

The United Nations has warned that thousands of children could be among the dead.

Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck at 04:17 (01:17 GMT) near the city of Gaziantep.

A subsequent quake was nearly as large, centered in Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency in the 10 provinces most affected by the earthquake.

He said the measures would allow relief workers and financial aid to enter affected regions, but did not provide further details.

About 70 countries are sending aid to Turkey, but anger is growing in some places that the aid is not arriving fast enough.

In the city of Antakyasome of the dead lay on the sidewalk for hours as rescue workers and ambulances struggled to cope with the scale of the disaster.

Relatives of the missing have scoured the rubble in search of their loved ones. A group of men using sledgehammers and other tools found the bodies of a man and a girl who had become trapped. They asked the rescue officers to use their power tools to help, but said they had to focus on the living.

The men continued digging until the bodies were freed.

There is growing anger that there is not enough help. A woman told the BBC that rescuers came and took photos of the building belonging to her boyfriend’s family where they believed 11 people were trapped, but did not return.

He said they heard voices for hours, but then there was silence.

Further north inside Kahramanmarasnear the epicenter of the second quake, there is a delay in the arrival of help because the mountain roads are clogged with those trying to leave.

Rows of buildings have collapsed into piles of debris that rescuers are trying to tackle, as a freezing wind blew smoke and dust from the rubble into their eyes.

The survivors who are now living on the streets have to scavenge for food and burn whatever furniture they find for warmth. Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing by the end of this week.

It is a similar situation in the port city of Iskenderunwhere now the homeless take refuge in open spaces away from buildings.

A woman the BBC spoke to is sheltering with her children and grandchildren, including a six-year-old who suffers from epilepsy. Rescuers brought them quilts and bread, but so far there has been no other support.

“I am devastated,” a doctor at a local hospital told Reuters. “I see bodies inside, everywhere. Even though I’m used to seeing bodies because of my experience, it’s very difficult even for me.”

The port of Iskenderun has been closed until further notice due to a major fire, meaning ships carrying goods bound for the earthquake-hit area are being diverted.

The fire is thought to have been caused when a container full of oil overturned in the earthquake and then the flames spread to the surrounding cargo.

Emergency services are having difficulty accessing the site due to earthquake damage and other containers now blocking the entrance. An attempt to use a fire boat to put out the blaze failed.

Smoke rises from a fire in the port of Iskenderun following an earthquake in Turkey

The port of Iskenderun has been closed until further notice due to a fire

There have also been reports of difficulties in obtaining aid in northern Syria, especially in opposition-held areas. Control is divided between the government and other opposition groups. They remain embroiled in the conflict due to an ongoing civil war.

Even before the earthquake, the situation in much of the region was dire, with freezing weather, crumbling infrastructure and a cholera epidemic that caused suffering for many of those living there. More than four million people, mostly women and children, already relied on aid.

The northwest in particular has become one of the hardest places to reach, with only a small crossing on the Turkish border available to transport resources to opposition-held areas.

The UN said on Tuesday it was temporarily halting aid flows to Syria due to damage to the route, with no clear idea of ​​when it would restart.

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations said any support must come from within the country and not across the border with Turkey, leading those in opposition-controlled areas to fear it could be withheld for political reasons.

The scenes of devastation were interspersed with brief moments of hope. A baby boy born under rubble near the city of Afrin has been rescued after being found still attached to his mother, who died after giving birth.

Map showing where the tremors were

Map showing where the tremors were

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