Relief supplies urgently needed for Syria quake survivors

People in northwestern Syria affected by the recent earthquakes are still in urgent need of relief supplies, as the country's civil war continues in the area.

A magnitude 7.8 quake struck southern Turkey near the Syrian border on February 6, followed by other tremors.

Fatalities so far stand at 43,556 in Turkey and 5,914 in Syria.

In northwestern Syria, which is controlled by anti-government forces, two new routes have been added to an existing one for the delivery of relief goods.

But survivors in some areas are still finding it difficult to receive enough supplies.

A regional coordinator at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told Reuters news agency on Wednesday that the office had sent Syria more than 250 truckloads of supplies from Turkey.

He added that the office hopes to be able to send an average of 40 trucks a day by the end of the week, and even double that in the coming weeks.

The European Union announced on Thursday that the bloc would ease its sanctions against Syria for six months to speed up deliveries of aid to the quake survivors.

The EU said the measure is being taken "in view of the gravity of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, exacerbated by the earthquake."