From CNN's Mia Alberti, Hira Humayun, Isil Sariyuce and Hande Atay Alam
The death toll across Turkey and Syria has risen to at least 2,701 after a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Turkey early Monday.
The total number of injured in Turkey and Syria climbed to 13,572 on Monday.
The total death toll in Syria rose to 1,050. New agency SANA reports 570 deaths across government-controlled areas and the "White Helmets" group, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense, reported 480 deaths in opposition-controlled areas.
The total death toll in Turkey has climbed to 1,651, according to Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay. There are now 9,733 people injured in Turkey, Oktay also said.
At least 11,119 people have been injured in Turkey and 2,453 have been injured in Syria following the earthquake.
1:04 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
More than 300 Russian soldiers assisting with earthquake aftermath in Syria, defense ministry says
From CNN’s Uliana Pavlova
Ten units of the Russian army with a total of more than 300 soldiers are involved in clearing debris and helping in search and rescue operations in Syria following devastating earthquake and aftershocks in the country, the Russian defense ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu “instructed the commander of the Russian (forces) in Syria to provide assistance," according to the statement.
The ministry said that Russian soldiers are mainly assisting in the cities of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia.
The servicemen are clearing debris, searching for victims and providing them with medical assistance, the statement said.
Some background: Russia is the strongest foreign power operating in Syria, and Putin has long allied himself with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, throwing the full weight of the Russian military behind the Syrian Army.
1:11 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
Turkish president declares a week of national mourning
From CNN's Isil Sariyuce and Hande Atay Alam
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared seven days of national mourning due to the earthquake.
Erdogan wrote in his tweet, "Due to the earthquakes that took place in our country on February 6, 2023, a national mourning period was declared for seven days. Our flag will fly at half-mast until sunset on Sunday, February 12, 2023, all over our country and within the foreign representations."
12:47 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
US is in the process of "deploying additional teams" to Turkey, White House says
From CNN's Betsy Klein
In addition to US personnel on the ground, the US is “in the process of deploying additional teams, including two 79-person urban search and rescue teams to support Turkish search and rescue efforts," National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said.
The United States Agency for International Development and the Pentagon are “now coordinating” with their Turkish counterparts on assistance.
“This is a very fluid situation – things are moving, conversations are happening,” Kirby added.
1:05 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
Death toll climbs to 1,651 in Turkey
From Isil Sariyuce in Istanbul
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the death toll climbed to 1,651 in southern Turkey after the devastating earthquake on Monday.
Koca also said 11,199 people were injured across 10 provinces of Turkey.
12:52 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
NGO head and his family take refuge in car after quake, but says Syrians he serves are not so lucky
From CNN's Jennifer Deaton
Dr. Mazen Kewara, the Turkey director for the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), spoke to CNN from his car after he and his family took refuge in it and described the “horrible” earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria.
“I am talking with you from my car," Kewara told CNN’s Becky Anderson. He said he’d been in his vehicle since 5 a.m. local time, more than 14 hours, with his family, including his kids. The earthquake was “something horrible," he added. “This is our first time to experience such a thing. And the weather condition is very difficult.”
SAMS is an NGO that provides medical care to help Syrians on the frontlines of war or in this case natural disaster, and Kewara runs the operation that serves northwest Syria from its base in Gaziantep in southern Turkey.
Kewara, who is Syrian, also said that after 11 years serving Syrians, “This is our first time to see ourselves directly with the victims.”
Kewara continued: “Previously we were responding to them and supporting them from our central office in Gaziantep. Today, we are victims like them. Directly we experience the same earthquake, horrible earthquake. But fortunately, we have vehicles. We can stay in our vehicles. But the people in northwest Syria, 4.5 million are IDPs (internally displaced persons) coming from different areas because of the 11-year war in Syria.”
He went on to say that because of the “very very poor infrastructure," “everything is run by NGOs” in northwest Syria.
Mazen also drew a clear distinction between Turkey’s capabilities in dealing with the earthquake, versus the situation in northwest Syria.
“Things that the Turkish government can do for its people, the people of northwest Syria lack," he told CNN.
He also said that SAMS alone had dealt with 180 earthquake deaths and 800 casualties.
12:26 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
Turkey and Syria death toll from the earthquake climbs to more than 2,500
From CNN's Mia Alberti, Hira Humayun, Isil Sariyuce and Hande Atay Alam
The death toll across Turkey and Syria has risen to at least 2,509 following a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter in southern Turkey early Monday.
The total number of injured in Turkey and Syria climbed to 12,136 on Monday.
The total death toll in Syria rose to 968. Syria’s state-run news agency SANA reported 538 across government-controlled areas and the "White Helmets" group, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense, reported 430 deaths in opposition-controlled areas.
The total death toll in Turkey has climbed to 1,541, according to Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay. There are now 9,733 people injured in Turkey, Oktay also said.
Turkey has at least 9,733 and Syria has 2,403 injured people following the devastating earthquake.
12:22 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
US agency reports more than 50 aftershocks in Turkey
From CNN's Haley Brink
At least 54 aftershocks measuring 4.3 or greater have occurred since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday morning local time, according to the United States Geological Survey, which is a scientific agency of the US government.
Three of the aftershocks have measured 6.0 or greater, including the massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck 95 kilometers (about 59 miles) north of the epicenter of the morning’s main quake.
The aftershocks stretch for more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) along the fault zone that ruptured in southern Turkey, oriented from southwest to northeast and stretching from the border with Syria up through the province of Malatya.
12:20 p.m. ET, February 6, 2023
White Helmets' capabilities are "not enough" to handle the large scale devastation in Syria, volunteer says
From CNN's Aditi Sangal
A White Helmets volunteer working through the devastation in Syria says the organization does not have enough to handle this disaster.
"Our teams are working around the clock to help to save the injured people. But our capabilities, our powers are not enough to handle this disaster. This disaster is bigger than any organization in northwest Syria," Ismail Alabdullah told CNN. "This disaster needs international efforts to handle."
The winter is making the situation worse for people who already suffer under the lack of basic necessities, Alabdullah said.
"Most of them were displaced from other parts of Syria during the last 12 years of bombing and killing," he said, adding that any help they receive will be spent on saving people "from under the rubble."
Many Syrians have been displaced as many as 20 times, according to International Rescue Committee's Mark Kaye, who spoke to CNN earlier Monday.
Before daylight, Alabdullah said the team on ground thought it could handle the impact, which it assumed would be limited to a few sites. However, when daylight revealed the large scale of devastation, he said, "we were shocked."
"What do we need most right now is for us as rescue workers is heavy equipment that helps us in removing mountains of rubble," he told CNN. "We need medical supplies for those who we saved from under the rubble. All of this is the urgent need for us.
Alabdullah said he hopes that countries "believe in human values and human rights" and send support to Syria. "We don't want to see that people stay under the rubble for weeks or days. We need immediate response from everyone, so we can help and end this disaster ... We don't want to see [more] people dying more," he added.