One week after southern Turkey and northern Syria were struck by one of the most devastating earthquakes in modern history, the UN has announced that the post-quake rescue phase is “coming to a close”. 

While the death toll has surpassed 35,000 the final toll is likely to be at least double this.

To hear that the rescue mission is winding down is in many respects alarming since it is far from “complete”. Tens of thousands of people are still missing.

Yet the hope of pulling out many more survivors from the rubble is fading fast. With the rescue effort increasingly resembling a mass exhumation, urgency is switching to providing shelter, food and psychological support to those already rescued. An estimated 80,000 victims in Turkey are currently in hospital while over one million are in temporary shelters.