Earthquake deaths in Turkey and Syria exceed 15,000; Turks demand government action, and Erdogan admits difficulties

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom stressed that ‘time is running out for the thousands of injured and missing among the rubble’

EFE/EPA/REFIK TEKINThousands of first responders work in frigid temperatures to find survivors

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake recorded in Turkey and on Syria has so far caused at least 12,000 deaths. In Turkey, the number of fatal victims reached 12,391, according to the last balance presented by the local authorities. The government declared seven days of mourning and a three-month state of emergency in the most affected provinces. In Syria, on the other hand, the death toll rose to 2,992. The information is from the Damascus government and Civil Defense teams in rebel-held areas. Thousands of rescuers work in frigid temperatures to find survivors under the ruins of collapsed buildings on both sides of the border. This Wednesday, the 8th, despite the difficulties, rescue teams saved children who were in the rubble of a property in the Turkish province of Hatay, where towns completely disappeared. However, the Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reinforced that “time is running out for the thousands of injured and missing among the rubble”.

Even with constant work, thousands of Turks demand government action to intensify rescues. One of them is Ali, who is in the city of Kahramanmaras, at the epicenter of the earthquake. He hopes to find his brother and nephew alive, trapped under the rubble. “Where is the State? Where is it?” he asks desperately. The population’s criticisms are endorsed by Ugur Poyraz, general secretary of the opposition Iyi party. “Aid is definitely not being coordinated in a professional way,” he says. “Citizens and local teams are joining rescue operations on their own to save people from the rubble,” he adds. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited Hatay province on Wednesday, admitted that there were “deficiencies” in the response to the earthquake and said that “it is impossible to be prepared for a catastrophe like this”. Anguish also dominates the Syrian town of Jindires, in an area controlled by the rebels, where “there are more people under the rubble than above it”, said Hassan, a resident of the area. “There are about 400, 500 people trapped under each building, with only 10 trying to get them out. And there are no machines, ”he lamented.

After the disaster, countries pledged help to Turkey. Among them are China, U.S, Ukraine It is United Arab Emirates. As Jovem Pan showed, the Brazilian government also announced this Wednesday that it is sending a humanitarian mission to help with the search and rescue of earthquake victims. The humanitarian mission will be composed of 22 rescuers and doctors from the Fire Department of São Paulo, another 20 from the Civil Defenses of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo and four dogs specialized in the search for survivors – one of the animals participated in the rescue of victims of the city disaster of Brumadinho, in Minas Gerais, which left almost 270 dead in 2019. The humanitarian mission ordered by the president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) also provides for the transport of five tons of equipment to search for people and help for the victims. Syria, on the other hand, relies mainly on help from Russia.

Source: Jovempan

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