Turkey quake toll tops 31,000

Ankara, Feb 14 (IANS) Rescue teams in Turkey have slowed down search efforts for quake victims, one week after the devastating earthquake that has so far killed at least 31,643 people in the country.
Some teams have started debris removal work, while emergency teams intensified efforts to provide necessities such as medical help, food and shelter for survivors, Xinhua news agency reported.
About 238,500 search and rescue personnel are working in the field, and more than 158,000 people have been evacuated from the quake-hit regions so far, Turkey’s disaster agency said on Monday.
Among at least 574 children pulled from collapsed buildings who had no surviving parents, only 76 were handed to other family members, while 118 were settled in childcare institutions affiliated with the Family and Social Services Ministry, with hundreds of others still under medical treatment, according to Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay.
A total of 9,401 foreign personnel from 77 countries are involved in emergency efforts in the field, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Monday, adding seven more countries are expected to send rescue teams.
In Turkey, tens of thousands of earthquake survivors are now living in tent cities or moving to other provinces for temporary shelter.
Twin earthquakes measuring 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6.

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