The death toll from a powerful earthquake that devastated southern Turkey and neighboring Syria surpassed 21,000 on Thursday, according to figures from the two countries.

Conditions are becoming increasingly difficult for rescuers, who are racing against time and searching in the bitter cold for survivors trapped under rubble after Monday's temblor.

People wait for news of their loved ones, believed to be trapped under collapsed buildings on Feb. 9, 2023, in Hatay, Turkey. (Getty/Kyodo)

The United Nations on Thursday brought aid supplies to the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib through the Turkish border.

The province remains under the control of forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad's government. There have been concerns over whether sufficient aid will be provided to the area after years of civil war in Syria.

Rescue efforts in both countries continue as people use heavy machinery to locate survivors, with many still believed to be buried in the wreckage. The death toll is expected to rise further.

Turkish authorities have confirmed nearly 18,000 deaths, while over 3,000 fatalities are estimated in Syria.

More than 72,000 people have been injured in Turkey.

The World Bank said Thursday it will contribute $1.78 billion in aid. The development bank has also started a survey to assess the damage and ascertain the level of reconstruction assistance needed.

Rescue workers from around the world including a disaster relief team from Japan are continuing efforts in Turkey.

Syria has received personnel from the Red Cross Society of China, according to the Syrian state news agency. Planes loaded with relief supplies from nations including Venezuela and Oman have also arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus.