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As search and rescue efforts in Turkey stop and bulldozers begin to remove tons of rubble from the thousands of demolished buildings, in Antioch (and other cities hit by the 7.8 Richter) mass graves are being opened for the thousands of victims of the “earthquake of century”.

Ten days after the biblical disaster in southeastern Turkey – and northern Syria – Turkish authorities said 35,418 people have been killed in the quake-hit areas and more than 80,000 remain missing under the rubble.

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In Antioch – one of the cities that was almost leveled – the cemeteries have been filled with the victims of the earthquake and the authorities are opening mass graves for bodies that do not fit in the cemeteries but also for those bodies that have not been identified and have not been searched for.

In fact, according to Euronews, before the burial process is completed, DNA samples are taken so that the victims can be identified and the relatives can later know that their own people have been buried.

Hope still lives

Despite the fact that the rescue crews from most of the countries that had gone to help have already left, those who remain continue to pull people alive from the rubble.

Yesterday at least nine people were pulled alive from the rubble while today a 44-year-old woman was pulled alive in the town of Kahramanmaras, almost 222 hours after the deadly earthquake.