The combined death toll in the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6 has surpassed 28,000.

The rescue operations, which were paused on Saturday after two unidentified groups clashed, resumed after Turkish army stepped in to offer protection, BBC reported.

Nearly 50 people have been arrested for looting ration at gun point, local media reported.

As food supply is dwindling, security is expected to worsen, BBC quoted a rescuer as saying.

During a visit to the disaster zone, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "We've declared a state of emergency and would use emergency powers to punish anyone breaking the law."