The death toll from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria has risen to more than 11,200, according to the latest official reports released today.

In Turkey alone, the number of dead has reached 8,574, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who came to the city of Karamanmaras, the epicenter of the earthquake. In Syria, 2,662 bodies were pulled from the ruins.

A powerful earthquake hit the two countries on Monday, followed by numerous aftershocks.

Exhausted rescue teams worked through the night in both countries to search for signs of life in the rubble of thousands of buildings destroyed by the devastating earthquake.

Erdogan visited the tent city in Karamanmaras where people who fled their homes are housed.

He admitted that there were mistakes at the beginning, but he promised that no one would be left on the street.

Rescue teams from more than twenty countries have joined local teams, and pledges of help are pouring in from around the world.

However, the scale of the devastation from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its powerful aftershocks is so vast and spread over such a large area, including areas isolated during the current civil war in Syria, that many are still waiting for help to arrive.

In the Turkish city of Malatya, bodies are lying side by side on the ground, covered with blankets, as rescuers wait for hearses to pick them up, said former journalist Ozel Pikal, who saw the bodies being pulled from the destroyed building.

Pikal, who participated in the rescue operations, said that he believed that at least some of the victims died from the cold as temperatures dropped below six degrees Celsius.

“Today is not a pleasant day, because from today there is no more hope in Malatija. No one will come out of the ruins alive,” he told AP in a telephone conversation.

He said that there is a shortage of rescuers in the area where he is located and the cold is making rescue operations difficult for volunteers and government teams. Closed roads and damage in the region also make movement and access difficult. He said they couldn’t lift anything with their hands because of the cold and that machines were needed.

With thousands of buildings destroyed, it is unclear how many people may still be trapped under the rubble.

The body of a three-year-old boy, Arif Khan, was pulled today from the ruins of a residential building in Karamanmaras, a town not far from the epicenter, almost two days since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.

The boy’s father, who had been rescued earlier, cried as his son was pulled from the rubble and transferred to an ambulance.

A Turkish television reporter said that the name of hope in Karamanmaras is now Arif Khan and that the boy’s dramatic rescue was shown live on national television.

A few hours later, rescuers pulled a 10-year-old girl from the ruins of her home in the town of Adiyaman to the applause of onlookers.

Unfortunately, such stories are becoming rarer two days since the earthquake brought down thousands of buildings, and the rescuers are working in extremely cold weather and with constant aftershocks that make the rescue even more difficult.

As the destruction is widespread and engulfs numerous cities and towns, some of which have been isolated by the Syrian war, the voices beneath the piles of concrete have fallen silent and despair has begun to grow among those still waiting for help.

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