The number of people killed in the earthquake in Turkey has risen to 41,020. This was announced by the Turkish civil protection authority Afad on Sunday evening, according to the state news agency Anadolu. So far, around 5,900 people have died in Syria in connection with the devastating tremors. However, the number is only updated irregularly. In total, almost 47,000 deaths have now been counted in both countries.

The full extent of the earthquake catastrophe in the Syrian-Turkish border region is only gradually becoming clear. In Syria alone, 8.8 million people are affected, tweeted the deputy UN representative for Syria Najat Rochdi – about two weeks after the earthquake. “The majority of them are likely to need some form of humanitarian assistance.”

The disaster hit the region hard in many ways. It is difficult to foresee what the consequences will be for students and the classroom. Yasmine Sherif, director of the UN Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund, told Al-Jazeera TV that 600 schools had been destroyed in Syria alone. The fund is expected to provide $7 million in emergency grants to help children in Syria continue to have access to education.

Almost 120,000 houses in danger of collapsing or badly damaged

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum said on Sunday that around 118,000 houses in the Turkish part of the earthquake region were classified as in danger of collapsing or badly damaged. According to Kurum, about 927,000 houses were examined.

Some rescue operations on site, where clean-up work has also begun, were coming to an end over the weekend. For example, a search and rescue team from Qatar ended its two-week mission in southern Turkey, as reported by the Qatari news agency QNA. The Turkish civil protection agency Afad announced on Sunday that the search work in nine of the eleven affected provinces had ended. Only in Kahramanmaras and Hatay will the search continue for victims, Afad chairman Yunus Sezer told journalists in Ankara.

It is estimated that more than 1.2 million people have left the affected region in Turkey. More than a million people are currently being temporarily housed in shelters, Sezer said.

US Secretary of State in Turkey

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, together with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, took a look at the destruction in the province of Hatay, which was badly hit by the earthquake. Blinken said the US government is increasing earthquake aid for Turkey and Syria by an additional US$100 million. The US has now pledged a total of $185 million.

The aid should benefit the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. The money will be used to buy relief supplies such as medicine, blankets, tents and warm clothing. In addition, the supply of clean water and sanitary facilities, but also education for children should be guaranteed.

Meanwhile, NATO is preparing to set up a camp with emergency accommodation for at least 4,000 people in Turkey. A spokesman for the alliance said that a cargo ship with 600 containers left the port of the Italian city of Taranto on Sunday evening. It should arrive in the Turkish city of Iskenderun within the week. The port in Taranto was also kept open outside normal operating hours for the loading of the containers, it said.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator for Syria: Haven’t seen the worst yet

In Syria, the situation was devastating for many people even before the earthquake. Bombardments and fighting during years of civil war, a serious economic crisis and often hardly any public services have made the country a focus for humanitarian aid workers. According to the UN, more than 15 million people needed some form of assistance even before the earthquakes.

And about two weeks after the tremors, not everyone in north-west Syria has received emergency aid. “We are still at the beginning and have not yet seen the worst,” Muhannad Hadi, the UN emergency aid coordinator responsible for Syria, told dpa. So far, for example, around 60,000 people have been supplied with water and around 13,000 earthquake victims with tents. According to the UN, around 40,000 households are currently homeless.

Since the disaster, more than 140 trucks carrying UN aid have traveled from Turkey to rebel-held north-western Syria. There, more than 9,000 buildings were completely or partially destroyed, leaving at least 11,000 people homeless. According to the UN, those affected most urgently needed accommodation such as tents.