Death toll rises to 4,544 in Türkiye after strong quakes strike

ANKARA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in Monday's devastating earthquakes climbed to 4,544, with 26,721 injured, Türkiye's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said on Tuesday.

A total of 60,211 people have taken part in search and rescue operations, the disaster agency said.

The country's Defense Ministry announced late Tuesday that military aircraft and helicopters have extinguished a big fire at the Iskenderun international port in the southern province of Hatay.

Dozens of cargo containers at the Mediterranean port caught fire on Monday after the region was rocked by strong earthquakes, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.

Business activities were suspended at the port, where occasional collapses were triggered by Monday's earthquakes, according to the report.

The investigation is underway to find out the cause of the fire. The containers' electric cooling system, which appears to be overturned after the strong tremors, may have led to the fire, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 of the country's provinces hit by the quakes.

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