The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey has exceeded 45,000

Turkey’s death toll from last month’s devastating earthquake has risen to 45,089, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll including Syria to nearly 51,000.

The earthquake and subsequent powerful aftershocks injured more than 108,000 in Turkey and forced millions of people to shelter in tents or seek to move to other cities.

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President Tayyip Erdogan has promised to rebuild homes within a year, but it will be several months before thousands of people can move into permanent housing, leaving tents or container housing, and daily queues for food.

He is due to deliver a speech to representatives of his ruling AK Party in parliament at 0900 GMT, with a focus on the earthquake and the presidential and parliamentary elections. They are due to be held until June and pose the biggest political challenge Erdogan has faced in his two decades of rule.

More than 160,000 Turkish buildings containing 520,000 apartments collapsed or were severely damaged in the disaster, which was the worst in the country’s modern history.

Some two million people have been recorded fleeing the region, which has been hit by more than 11,000 aftershocks since the initial quake, AFAD said in a statement.

It said it has put up more than 350,000 tents, with tent cities set up at 332 locations across the region. Containment housing settlements are being set up at 162 places.

On Tuesday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said he would support Ankara in its response to the earthquake.

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