Turkey has ceased rescue operations in all provinces affected by the recent massive earthquake, except for the two provinces that were hit the hardest. The earthquake is said to have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, the Turkish disaster agency said.
"In many of our provinces, search and rescue efforts have been completed. They continue in Kahramanmaras and Hatay provinces," the agency's chief Yunus Sezer told reporters in Ankara.
The president of Turkey’s disaster and emergency management agency, Yunus Sezer, said the number of earthquake deaths in the country has grown to 40,642, which takes the combined toll in Turkey and Syria to 44,330.
Meanwhile, on the 13th day of ongoing rescue efforts in Antakya, the capital of Hatay province, a family consisting of a couple and their son were rescued from under an apartment building. "We heard shouts when we were digging today an hour ago. When we find people who are alive we are always happy,” Atay Osmanov, a member of the rescue team, reportedly told Reuters.
However, it was reported that the child had later died. Search teams also recovered the body of Ghanaian international soccer player Christian Atsu in the ruins of a building that collapsed.
Ever since the massive earthquake hit the region, several countries including India, U.S., Germany, Italy, and Iran among others have stepped up to provide assistance to the rescue efforts.
(With inputs from AP)