Turkey earthquake survivors face despair as rescues dwindle – Times of India

adiamanThousands of people left homeless by a massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria a week ago, packed into crowded tents or queuing on the streets for hot meals on Monday, amid a desperate search for survivors Perhaps she had entered her last hours.
A crew pulls a 4-year-old girl from the rubble in hard-hit Adiyaman 177 hours after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Thousands of local and foreign crews, including Turkish coal miners and experts aided by sniffer dogs and thermal cameras, are scouring the pulverized apartment blocks for signs of life.
Although stories of near-miraculous rescues have flooded the airwaves in recent days – many broadcast live on Turkish television and broadcast around the world – thousands have been found dead during the same period. Experts say that with temperatures dropping to minus 6 °C (21 °F) – and the total collapse of so many buildings – the window for such a rescue has almost closed.
The earthquake and aftershocks, including a major one nine hours after the initial quake, struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on 6 February, killing more than 35,000 and destroying entire swaths of towns and cities inhabited by millions of people. Reduced to pieces of concrete and bent metal. ,
Damage included heritage sites in places such as Antioch, an important ancient port and early center of Christianity historically known as Antioch. Greek Orthodox churches in the region have launched donation drives to aid relief efforts and raise funds to eventually rebuild or repair the churches.
Almost no houses were left standing in the village of Polat, about 100 kilometers (62 mi) from the epicenter, where residents salvaged refrigerators, washing machines and other items from destroyed homes.
Not enough tents have arrived for the homeless, said survivor Zahra Kurukafa, forcing families to share the available tents.
“We sleep in the mud, with families of two, three, even four,” Kurukafa said.
Turkish officials said on Monday that more than 150,000 survivors had been taken to shelters outside the affected provinces. In the city of Adıyaman, Musa Bozkert waited for a vehicle to bring him and the others to western Turkey.
“We are going away but we have no idea what will happen when we get there,” said the 25-year-old. “We don’t have a goal. Even if there was (a plan) what good would it do after this hour? I don’t have my father or my uncle anymore. What’s left of me?”
But 55-year-old farmer Fuyut Ekinci was reluctant to leave his home for western Turkey despite the destruction, saying he had nowhere else to live and needed to look after the fields.
“Those who have the means are leaving, but we are poor,” he said. “The government says, go and stay there for a month or two. How do I leave my house? My fields are here, this is my home, how do I leave it behind?”
Volunteers from across Turkey have mobilized to help the millions of survivors, including a group of volunteer cooks and restaurant owners who served traditional meals such as beans and rice and lentil soup to the survivors, who were living in the town of Adıyaman. were standing on the streets.
Other volunteers continued the rescue efforts. After rescue workers pulled the 4-year-old out, a relative told Haberturk television that more loved ones were inside the building.
As the scale of the disaster unfolds, grief and disbelief have turned to anger at the feeling that there has been an ineffective response to a historic disaster. That temper could be a political problem for Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip ErdoganJoe faces an uphill reelection fight in May.
Meanwhile, rescue workers, including coal miners who secured the tunnels with wooden supports, found a woman alive in the rubble of a five-story building in Turkey’s Gaziantep province on Monday.
Syrian officials said a newborn whose mother had given birth while trapped under the rubble of her home was doing well. Baby Aya was found a few hours after the earthquake, still attached by an umbilical cord to her mother, who was dead. The director’s wife is breastfeeding him in the hospital where he is undergoing treatment.
Such stories have raised a lot of hope, but Eduardo Reynoso Angulo, a professor at the Institute of Engineering at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, said the chances of people surviving are “very, very low.”
David Alexander, a professor of emergency planning and management at University College London, agreed. But he said that initially the situation was not very good.
Alexander said that many of the buildings were so poorly constructed that they collapsed into very small pieces, leaving little room for people to survive.
“If a frame building of some kind is destroyed, we usually find open spaces in the rubble pile where we can tunnel,” Alexander said. “Judging by some of these photos from Turkey and Syria, there simply isn’t room.”
The cold conditions further reduce the chances of survival. In the cold, the body shivers to keep warm – but this burns a lot of calories, which means people deprived of food will also die more quickly, Dr. Stephanie LareauA professor of emergency medicine at Virginia Tech.
Many in Turkey blame faulty construction for the massive devastation, and authorities have begun targeting contractors who were allegedly involved with the collapsed buildings. Turkey has introduced building codes that meet earthquake-engineering standards, but experts say the codes are rarely enforced.
The death toll in Turkey from the earthquake has exceeded 31,000. The death toll in Syria, split between rebel-held areas and government-held areas, has exceeded 3,500, although those reported by the government have not been updated in days.
Visiting the Turkish-Syrian border on Sunday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said the international community had failed to provide aid.
Griffiths said that Syrians “feel abandoned.” He added: “My duty and our obligation is to fix this failure as quickly as possible.”
The UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, told reporters in the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday that “troubles” regarding the flow of aid to Syria’s rebel-held northwest are “now being fixed.”
Meanwhile, the Kurdish-led administration in northeast Syria said 53 trucks carrying aid had crossed from Kurdish territory into earthquake-damaged areas controlled by rival Turkey-backed rebels in northwest Syria, which blocked the first convoy crossing. was stopped from Turkish officials consider the Syrian Democratic Forces a terrorist group, along with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a Kurdish separatist group based in Turkey.