Erdogan visits Turkey quake zone as anger grows

STORY: A moment of joy. Rescuers pull a whole family from the rubble in northern Syria.

More often, bodies are removed. Thousands more people mourn, or wait for news.

As the toll from the quake that struck southern Turkey and neighboring Syria rose to more than 11,000 people on Wednesday (February 8).

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visited Kahramanmaras in southern Turkey to see the devastation first-hand, two days after disaster struck.

Anger is growing over what local people say has been a slow government response.

Erdogan has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces and sent in troops to help.

"All state institutions are working on this at the moment. On the first day we experienced some issues but then on the second day and today the situation has been taken under control."

A traumatic search at this nearby sports hall, as survivors step among rows of bodies, examining them one by one.

Other makeshift morgues are in stadiums and parking lots. The tremor struck in the dead of night when people were sleeping.

Hundreds of collapsed buildings have become tombs and the toll is expected to rise.

In the quake zone, survivors slept in their cars overnight in the freezing cold, or in the streets under blankets.

Fearful of going back into buildings shaken by the 7.8 magnitude tremor that hit in the early hours of Monday (February 6).

Families destroyed or torn apart.

In an Aleppo hospital, Baker says he lost 13 members of his family of 16 when their building collapsed.

Only my brother, my one-and-a-half year-old niece and I got out, he says.

Youssef has waited two days for someone to rescue his relatives. His father, mother, sister and her son are under this rubble on an Aleppo street.

"I talked to them and heard their voices, but unfortunately as you can see here they're very slow at work and they don't have enough equipment."

Aid officials voice particular concern about the situation in Syria.

Humanitarian needs are now greater than at any point since a war broke out that has partitioned the nation and is complicating relief efforts.

Residents in Syrian government-held territory contacted by phone have described the authorities' response as slow, with some areas receiving more help than others.