'Please help' - earthquake heartbreak for Syrians in Scotland 

Death toll following devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria has soared beyond 20,000.

Syrians living in Scotland have told STV News of their heartbreak and horror following the devastating earthquake.

They said they were struggling to make sense of how their war-torn country fell victim to a devastating natural disaster.

Back-to-back earthquakes – the first measuring 7.8 – demolished or damaged at least 12,000 buildings in the early hours of Monday morning.

With the death toll now more than 20,000, the first convoy of UN aid has crossed the Turkish border into Syria.

Rescuers have been searching desperately through the rubble.STV News

But those fearing for their loved ones there know time is running out – and say more help is urgently needed.

Thaer Al Mohammad and Manar Al Hasan are from the Syrian village of Kornaz, but now live in Inverurie.

They came to Scotland with their four children five years ago, leaving behind many family and friends in both Syria and Turkey.

Most of their loved ones there are now homeless and some have lost their lives.

“Three of them were friends of mine at school,” said Thaer. “I was with them at primary school and secondary school.

“The sister of my brother’s wife has died, but she is still under the crush.

“Her husband took two of his daughters and she went to follow him with two of their children, but the crush came over her.

“One of her children survived, but she died with the other child.”

More than 20,000 people have lost their lives.Getty Images

Thaer and Manar said they hadn’t thought about anything else since the quake.

“There are many people who have died from our country,” said Manar. “We can’t explain to you – crying and thinking about them.”

“You can’t think of anything else,” added Thaer.

The first convoy of international aid has now crossed the Turkish border into Syria.

But with the race against time to find survivors rapidly running out, more help is needed.

“I just need to say ‘help’,” said Manar. “Help the people in my country. They need a lot from you.”  

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