The death toll across Turkey and Syria following Monday’s catastrophic earthquake has reached at least 34,179. Turkish Emergency Coordination Center SAKOM said that the death toll in Turkey has reached 29,605. Meanwhile, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA, the confirmed death toll in Syria is 4,574 which includes more than 3,160 in opposition-held parts of the northwestern part of the country. The Syrian death toll also includes 1,414 deaths in government-controlled parts of Syria.

Meanwhile, business owners in a central district of Turkey’s Antakya city were emptying their shops to prevent their merchandise from being stolen by looters in the wake of earthquakes. In Antakya, residents and aid workers who came from other cities have cited worsening security conditions, with widespread accounts of businesses and collapsed homes being looted. Some residents were left homeless by the earthquake and are now sleeping in their cars or tents.

On other hand, the World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus yesterday said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had voiced openness to more border crossings for aid to be brought to quake victims in the rebel-held northwestern part of the country. Mr Tedros told that he had met with the Syrian president in Damascus to discuss the response to the devastating earthquake. Rebel-held areas in northwestern Syria, which has been ravaged by more than a decade of civil war, are in a particularly dire situation.