Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave an update on the casualty figures during a visit to Kahramanmaras, a southern Turkish city at the epicenter of the initial quake, saying the death toll from a massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria rose above 11,200.
Officials and medics said 8,574 people had died in Turkey and 2,662 in Syria from Monday's 7.8-magnitude tremor, bringing the total to 11,236.
Television images showed him hugging a weeping, elderly woman and walking through a large crowd towards a Red Crescent humanitarian relief tent.
Facing a tough May 14 re-election, Erdogan pledged to rebuild the damaged regions within a year.
He also appeared to push back against criticism that the government's response to Turkey's worst disaster in decades has been slow.
“Initially there were issues at airports and on the roads, but today things are getting easier and tomorrow it will be easier still,” he said in televised remarks.
“We have mobilised all our resources,” he added. “The state is doing its job.”
Thinly stretched rescue teams worked through the night in Turkey and Syria, pulling more bodies from the rubble of thousands of buildings toppled by a catastrophic earthquake. The death toll rose Wednesday to more than 9,500, making the quake the deadliest in more than a decade.
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As the scale of the disaster became ever more apparent, the death toll looked likely to rise considerably. One UN official said thousands of children may have died.
Erdogan on Tuesday declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 southeastern provinces hit by a major earthquake that has claimed thousands of lives.
Rescue and recovery work in the isolated region near Syria has been hamstrung by a fierce winter storm that has made some roads impassable and slowed the delivery of food and aid.
Erdogan said a series of emergency measures would be taken to flood the affected areas with humanitarian relief workers and financial aid.
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