Disasters & Accidents

Three people rescued 198 hours after quake as toll tops 35,000

Ankara, Feb 14 (EFE).- Rescue teams in Turkey pulled three young people alive from the rubble on Tuesday, 198 hours after two devastating earthquakes and a cascade of aftershocks struck Turkey and war-ravaged Syria, leaving at least 35,400 dead.

Two brothers, aged 17 and 20, were transferred to a hospital with varying degrees of injuries after they were rescued in the worst-hit Turkish city of Kahramanmaras, local media reported. Minutes later, an 18-year-old boy was plucked from the ruins in Adiyaman.

So far, more than 80,000 people have been saved in Turkey’s 10 quake-stricken provinces.

It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of people still trapped beneath the rubble, but rescue missions have been halted in most areas and foreign helpers have started to return home.

With many people left homeless in the frigid cold, Tezcan Candan, head of the Ankara Chamber of Architects, told Halk TV: “Under the freezing winter conditions, the main need now is tents.”

“May your gift for Valentine’s day be a tent for the earthquake victims,” Candan said after visiting the affected areas.

“Nothing can describe what we see. There is no one on the streets here. Yesterday, we were in Hatay. There is no city anymore.

“The government is blaming some constructors to evade responsibility. If the necessary scientific measures were taken, so many people would not be dead. It is a mass murder.”

According to vice president Fuat Oktay, tents have been set up in 257 locations so far.

The first earthquake hit early on February 6 with a 7.7-magnitude, followed by another 7.6-magnitude quake, with hundreds of aftershocks registered since the first tremor, according to Turkish disaster authority AFAD.

In Turkey alone, some 31,643 deaths and more than 80,000 injuries have been recorded so far, AFAD said, making the two earthquakes that hit the southeastern part of the country the deadliest since 1939.

Over the weekend, contractors were arrested on suspicion of negligence linked to toppled buildings in Turkey.

The arrests came after mounting criticism and anger towards president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government with citizens saying more could have been done to manage the disaster and save more lives.

The brewing anger could be pivotal in the looming May presidential elections where Erdogan will be seeking a third term.EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button