Death toll in Turkey and Syria passes 11,000 and is expected to continue climbing

People who lost their homes in the massive earthquakes that shook Turkey along the border with Syria are looking for food and shelter amid cold weather. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the weather has made rescue operations more difficult. Photo: Burak Kara/Getty Images

ISKENDERUN, Turkey—Rescue teams were in a race against time Wednesday to find survivors from the twin earthquakes that have killed more than 11,700 people in Turkey and Syria, as freezing temperatures continued to complicate humanitarian efforts and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the affected areas. 

“We are face to face with a great disaster,” said Mr. Erdogan from Kahramanmaras, the center of the quake’s destruction. He said initial problems with rescue operations were beginning to ease but challenges with transporting oil remained.

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