TIME is ticking to pull survivors from the rubble after a deadly earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday has left thousands dead.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan admitted there have been "shortcomings" to rescue efforts since the devastating disaster, and experts have said time is running out.
The death toll has now passed the threshold of 17,000 across Turkey and Syria since Monday's mega-quake.
The survival window for those crushed underneath buildings across south Turkey and northern Syria is diminishing as days go by.
The death toll is has reached 17,100 as of Thursday, with 3,162 dead in Syria and 14,014 dead in Turkey.
Expert Steven Godby told Sky News: "The survival ratio on average within 24 hours is 74%, after 72 hours it is 22% and by the fifth day it is 6%."
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David Alexander, professor of emergency planning and management at University College London said today is the day when rescue workers stop finding people alive.
He continued: "That doesn't mean we should stop searching."
Turkish officials have said almost 3,000 buildings had collapsed in seven different provinces, including public hospitals.
Heart-breaking photos and videos of victims being pulled from the dilapidated buildings have gone viral online.
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Photos of 2-year-old Mert Tatar being pulled from rubble after being trapped for 79 hours have gone viral online.
The toddler was seen being carried off by rescue workers after they heard his cries through a concrete wall.
The team drilled until they reached the tot who had been buried in rubble near Antakya.
President Erdogan's office has received an influx of complaints about lack of equipment and experts to assist those trapped.
Turkey levied a so-called “earthquake tax” after a 1999 quake killed 17,000 people.
The £3.8billion raised was supposed to be used to prevent future disasters and fund emergency response teams.
Opposition parties accused Mr Erdogan of failing to use the tax properly — resulting to a delayed response to the deadly quake.
While visiting southern Turkey, Erdogan said: "This is a time for unity, solidarity. In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for political interest.
"It is not possible to be prepared for such a disaster. We will not leave any of our citizens uncared for."
The United Nation's resident Syria coordinator has begged the west for earthquake aide to rebel-held areas in Syria's northwest, which has been decimated by the natural disaster.
Syria has been under fierce sanctions from the European Union, but the organisation changed its tune and has encouraged EU member countries to assist Syria after the catastrophe.
77 men and women from the UK International Search and Rescue, including firefighters, medics, and a sniffer dog affectionately called Dave, arrived Tuesday evening to assist.
Rescue worker Phil Irving from Wales told BBC News:
"I went to Haiti in 2010 and this is comparable to the devastation I've witnessed, particularly in this location where it doesn't seem to be that international teams have arrived."
Hope hasn't been lost, however, as rescue workers have miraciously found many alive after more than 72 hours.
In Haram, northern Syria, siblings identified as Mariam and Ilaaf were saved after 36 hours under the rubble, with Mariam bravely shielding her little brother’s head.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said rescue teams from 18 nations are now in the region, helping save survivors under the wreckage.
Photos of body bags lining plazas and courtyards have been circulated online, as families scramble to find their loved ones.
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Sun readers have helped send over £500,000 to those affected by the disaster through our Earthquake Appeal after just two days of fundraising.
All money from The Sun’s aid plea is being donated to the British Red Cross, providing on-the-ground relief in the wake of the disaster in Turkey and Syria.
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