ANTAKYA, Turkey, (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces devastated by two earthquakes that killed more than 7,200 people and left a trail of destruction across a wide area of southern Turkey and neighbouring Syria.
A day after the quakes hit, rescuers working in harsh conditions struggled to dig people out of the rubble of collapsed buildings.
As the scale of the disaster became ever more apparent, the death toll looked likely to rise considerably. One United Nations official said it was feared thousands of children may have been killed.
And residents in several damaged Turkish cities voiced anger and despair at what they said was a slow and inadequate response from the authorities to the deadliest earthquake to hit Turkey since 1999.
"There is not even a single person here. We are under the snow, without a home, without anything," said Murat Alinak, whose home in Malatya had collapsed and whose relatives are missing. "What shall I do, where can I go?"
Monday's magnitude 7.8 quake, followed hours later by a second one almost as powerful, toppled thousands of buildings including hospitals, schools, and apartment blocks.
Tens of thousands of people were injured or left homeless in cities in Turkey and northern Syria.
Winter weather has hampered rescue and relief efforts and made the plight of the homeless even more miserable. Some areas were without fuel and electricity.