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Turkey earthquake death toll rises to 40,689

The search and rescue operations continue

ANKARA, February 19. /TASS/. The death toll from devastating earthquakes in Turkey rose to 40,689, Head of the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) Yunus Sezer said on Sunday.

"The number of casualties continues to rise. There are now 40,689 people dead. The search and rescue operations continue. There is still hope for people to be rescued from the rubble," he said in an interview with local TV channels.

Two powerful 7.7-magnitude and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes rocked Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province, located in the country’s southeast, on February 6. The tremors, followed by 6,000 aftershocks, were felt in various provinces as well as in neighboring countries, mainly Syria.