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Stretched rescue teams are toiling through the night in Turkey and Syria, searching for signs of life in the rubble of thousands of buildings toppled by a catastrophic earthquake. The death toll rose Wednesday to more than 11,000, making it the deadliest quake worldwide in more than a decade. Hope for finding survivors is fading. Amid calls for the Turkish government to send more help to the disaster zone, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured a “tent city” in Kahramanmaras on Wednesday. Search teams from more than two dozen countries have joined tens of thousands of local emergency personnel, and aid pledges have poured in from around the world. But the scale of destruction was so immense and spread so wide that many are still waiting for help.

It is a long and sometimes dangerous journey for truckers transporting the avocados destined for guacamole on tables and tailgates in the United States.

The death toll from a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria has climbed past 7,700 people. Rescuers are racing to pull survivors from the rubble before they succumb to cold weather. A newborn still connected by the umbilical cord to her dead mother was among those rescued in a damaged Syrian town. Search teams and aid pledges were pouring in, but the difficulties of reaching people soon enough to save them were compounded with the damage spread across several cities and towns — some isolated by Syria’s war. Turkey has millions of war refugees, and the quake-affected area in Syria is divided between government-controlled territory and the country’s last opposition-held enclave, where people rely on humanitarian aid to survive.

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