Rescuers struggled to dig people out of debris today Tuesday February 7th in a “race against time” as the death toll from an earthquake across a wide area of Turkey and Syria passed 5,000.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake – the deadliest in Turkey since 1999 – hit early on Monday and was followed by a second quake hours later.

Hospitals and schools were wrecked and tens of thousands of people were injured or left homeless in several Turkish and Syrian cities, Reuters reports.

A U.N. official said thousands of children may be among the dead.

Harsh winter weather hampered search efforts and the delivery of aid and made the plight of the homeless even more miserable. Some areas were without fuel and electricity.

Aid officials have voiced particular concern about the situation in Syria, already afflicted by a humanitarian crisis after nearly 12 years of civil war.

Taiwan National Day Celebration


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