ANTAKYA: The massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria has caused a rampage across the region as the death toll has exceeded the 15,000 mark. At a time when swift action was needed, the Turkish government has shown a below-average response. Criticism is mounting up on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which pushed him to address the media and admit the shortcomings. Tayyip Erdogan said that there are shortcomings and it’s impossible to be prepared for this type of disaster.
Survivors are fighting with harsh cold weather and waiting for shelter and food. Devastating scenes were seen in Turkey as people were still searching for their relatives who are trapped under the debris. Rescue operations are underway at a snail’s pace, and help has not arrived in several areas even after 48 hours.
The rescue team said that several children were pulled out in Hatay, and they believe there are more stuck under the debris. The situation is worsening as the 72-hour window, which is said to be the ideal time to save lives, is narrowing down.
International aid for earthquake victims
Meanwhile, the European Union will initiate a donor conference next month to gather aid for Syria and Turkey. Around 2,992 people died in Syria in the recent earthquake. Survivors in Syria said that over 400 people are trapped in collapsed buildings, and there is no machinery to save them.
Pakistan also stood up and extended a helping hand to Turkey. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has developed a relief fund to help the victims of the earthquake. Moreover, a rescue team of 51 members was sent to Turkey to help with rescue operations. Pakistan Airforce said that C-130 Hercules had carried the team members from Nur Khan Base to Istanbul to assist the earthquake rescue team there.
The region of the Turkey-Syria border stands as one of the most vulnerable areas to earthquakes. In 1939, over 33,000 people died when an earthquake jolted the Erzincan province. Similarly, in 1999, over 17,000 people lost their lives in an earthquake of 7.4 magnitude.