Rescue operations have continued in Turkey following the devastating earthquake that rattled the country.
Heartrending scenes of a newborn plucked alive from the rubble and a broken father clutching his dead daughter’s hand have laid bare the human cost of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey that by Wednesday had claimed over 9,500 lives.
For two days and nights since the 7.8 magnitude quake an impromptu army of rescuers have worked in freezing temperatures to find those still entombed among ruins in several cities either side of the border.
Officially, the death toll from the disaster now stands at 6,957 people dead in Turkey and 2,547 in Syria, bringing the total to 9,504 — but that could yet double if the worst fears of experts are realised.
The World Health Organisation chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus, warned that time is running out for the thousands injured and those still feared trapped.
For Mesut Hancer, a resident of the Turkish city Kahramanmaras, near the epicentre, it is already too late.
He sat on the freezing rubble, too grief-stricken to speak, refusing to let go of his 15-year-old daughter Irmak’s hand as her body lay lifeless among the slabs of concrete and strands of twisted rebar.