Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday, as the death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria surpassed 7,800.
The declaration covers 10 provinces most affected by the 7.8-magnitude tremblor that hit the Pazarcik district in Kahramanmaras Province on Monday, while also impacting neighboring areas in northwest Syria.
“We are facing one of the biggest disasters not only in the history of the Turkish Republic but also of our geography and the world,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan added that it was the nation’s “biggest relief” that more than 8,000 people had been rescued so far, adding that 53,300 search-and-rescue staff were surveying the area.
“This number is increasing with every passing hour, with teams coming from across the country and world,” he said.
Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency reported that at least 5,894 people were killed and 26,721 others were injured in the 10 Turkish provinces, according to data from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.