BEIRUT - The death toll in Syria from a devastating earthquake has surpassed 2,500, according to Syrian state media and a rescue service operating in the insurgent-held northwest.

The White Helmets rescue team said on Twitter the casualty toll in insurgent-held areas has risen to more than 1,280 deaths and more than 2,600 injured.

"The number is expected to rise significantly due to the presence of hundreds of families under the rubble, more than 50 hours after the earthquake," the White Helmets wrote.

Overnight, the Syrian health minister said the number of dead in government-held parts of the country rose to 1,250, the state-run al-Ikhbariya news outlet reported on its Telegram feed. The number of wounded was 2,054, he said.

(Reporting by Tom Perry, Writing by Clauda Tanios; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Tom Hogue)