The death toll from the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria four days ago has surpassed 21,000, according to latest data released by authorities and rescuers.
The death toll from the earthquakes climbed to 17,674 in Turkey, with 72,879 injuries, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Thursday.
In Syria, 1,678 people were killed in government-held areas, and the death toll in the opposition-held region stood at 2,190, according to media reports.
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Turkey's southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time, followed by a magnitude 6.4 quake a few minutes later in the country's southern province of Gaziantep and a magnitude 7.6 earthquake at 1:24 p.m. local time in Kahramanmaras province, Xinhua news agency reported.
International search and rescue teams, including an 82-member Chinese rescue team that arrived in Turkey on Wednesday, rushed to the quake-impacted zone to assist in rescue efforts.