Turkey and Syria quake toll passes 21,000

More than 21,000 people are now known to have died in Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria – though the UN warns the disaster’s full extent is still unclear, the BBC reports.

Rescuers are still searching rubble for survivors, but hopes are fading more than four days since the first quake.

Tens of thousands of people have spent a freezing fourth night in makeshift shelters, after losing their homes.

Turkey’s president called the quake “the disaster of the century”.

A major international relief effort is gathering pace. On Thursday the World Bank pledged $1.78bn in aid to Turkey including immediate finance for rebuilding basic infrastructure and to support those affected by the earthquakes.

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