Heartrending scenes of a newborn plucked alive from the rubble and a broken father clutching his dead daughter's hand have laid bare the human cost of violent earthquakes in Syria and Turkey that by Wednesday had claimed 8,300 lives.
For two days and nights since the 7.8 magnitude quake an impromptu army of rescuers have worked in freezing temperatures to find those still entombed among ruins that pockmark several cities either side of the border.
Officially, the death toll from the disaster now stands at 8,364. But that could yet double if the worst fears of experts are realised.
The World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that time is running out for the thousands injured and those still feared trapped.
Across the border in northern Syria, a decade of civil war and Syrian-Russian aerial bombardment had already destroyed hospitals, collapsed the economy and prompted electricity, fuel and water shortages.
Dozens of nations including the United States, China and the Gulf States have pledged to help, and search teams as well as relief supplies have begun to arrive by air.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 southeastern provinces.
The World Health Organisation has warned that up to 23 million people could be affected by the massive earthquake and urged nations to rush help to the disaster zone.