International aid organizations are stepping up their efforts to help the millions of people who have been left homeless after the deadly earthquake of February 6, which it has claimed the lives of more than 43,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

Two people were pulled alive from the wreckage in Turkey yesterday, Thursday, but they rescues are becoming increasingly rare.

One 17 year old girl was pulled alive yesterday from the ruins of a collapsed building in the southern province of Kahramanmaras, 248 hours after the deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake, TRT Haber reported.

About 10 hours later Naslihan Kilic was rescued.

“We had prepared her grave and asked the rescuers to stop digging as we feared that the bodies under the rubble would be dismembered. A few minutes later, her voice was heard through the rubble of the building,” her brother-in-law told CNN Turk.

Kilic’s husband and two children are still missing.

The earthquake has killed 38,044 people in Turkey, officials announced today, while 5,800 deaths have been recorded in neighboring Syria, a number that has not changed much in recent days.

Neither country has announced a number of missing persons.

Yesterday the UN appealed for the raising more than $1 billion for providing aid to Turkey. On Tuesday he had requested 400 million dollars for Syria.

For families waiting for their loved ones to be freed, anger is growing over shoddy construction and uncontrolled construction that has resulted in thousands of homes and other buildings collapsing.

“I have two kids. No other. They are both under the rubble,” Sevil Karaampdoglu said as bulldozers tore down what was left of a high-rise apartment building in Antakya, where her two daughters lived.

About 650 people are believed to have been killed since the collapse of this building.

“We rented this building because it was luxurious, safe. How do I know that the contractor built it like that?” Karaambdoglu asked.

About 200 kilometers away, about 100 people gathered at a small cemetery in the town of Pazarchik to bury a family of four killed in the same building.


Cross-border crossings

The Syrian government has announced that the dead in the areas it controls has reached 1,414, pointing out that this is a final tally.

Most of the casualties are in rebel-held northwest Syria, with rescuers noting that no one has been rescued alive in the region since February 9. Consequently efforts are now focused on helping survivors.

Much of the region’s infrastructure has been damaged or disabled by the 12-year war, and health authorities are faced with the difficult task of ensuring that survivors now do not contract disease.

Aid in northwest Syria is becoming difficult due to the conflict and many residents of the region feel abandoned as aid reaches other affected areas.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday it was particularly concerned about the health of people in northwestern Syria, where about 4 million people were already relying on humanitarian aid before the earthquake.

So far 119 UN trucks have passed through two border crossings on the border between Turkey and Syria, carrying humanitarian aid, a spokesman for the agency said.

Many survivors have fled the affected areas, but some have chosen to stay, despite the horrific living conditions.

We spend our days (eating) bread, soup and meals from the aid sent by citizens. We have no life anymore. We are afraidsaid Mustafa Akan from Antiyaman, who sleeps on the street and keeps warm by burning wood in a bucket.