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Death toll rises in Turkey and Syria after earthquake

More than 2,300 dead is the death toll so far from the strong earthquake that shook Turkey and Syria today. It is feared that many more remain under the rubble.

The efforts of both countries are now focused on trying to rescue as many people as possible, after the strong earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale surprised the sleeping population in the early hours of the morning.

Entire buildings collapsed, some during the strong earthquake and others with the subsequent aftershocks in the morning hours.

Images of pain and desperation of Turks searching under the destroyed concrete have traveled the world, but also of successful rescues of men, women and children trapped under the rubble.

Experts say that weather conditions, with rain and freezing temperatures, will make rescue efforts difficult.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called it "the worst disaster the country has experienced in the last century, after the 1939 Erzincan earthquake."

Several governments around the world pledged to send aid after Turkey launched an international appeal for help.

Canada, the United States, Russia, Germany and Israel were among the many nations that offered to send aid.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said alliance members were mobilizing support to help Turkey deal with the fallout, and the European Union also said it planned to mobilize aid.

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