Turkey-Syria Earthquake: Hope Fades As Toll Soars Past 20,000, Bitter Cold Worsens Conditions
Over 20,000 people have died in the deadliest earthquakes that swept through Turkiye and Syria on Monday. Here are the top developments.Rescuers are racing against time as the toll in the deadly Turkiye-Syria earthquakes continues to climb steadily and has crossed 20,000. According to media reports, close to 80,000 people were injured in both countries. Adding to the woes of survivors and the rescue workers is the biting cold.
WHO WARNS OF SECONDARY DISASTER
The World Health Organisation has said that survivors can face a secondary situation as the biting cold and snow could lead to worsening and horrific conditions in Turkiye and Syria. WHO incident response manager Robert Holden said there were a lot of people surviving out in the open under such conditions, CNN reported. “We are in real danger of seeing a secondary disaster which may cause harm to more people than the initial disaster if we don’t move with the same pace and intensity as we are doing on the search and rescue side,” Holden said as quoted by CNN.
DEATH TOLL CLIMBS STEADILY
Three days on, the death toll from the deadly earthquakes continues to rise and rescuers race against time to pull those still trapped under the rubble. The rescue of a 2-year-old boy after 79 hours trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building in Turkiye, and several other people raised the spirits of rescue workers but hopes were fading that many more would be found alive in the ruins of towns and cities.
ERDOGAN UNDER FIRE
As Turkiye President Erdogan admitted to ‘shortcomings’ in the response to one of the deadliest natural disasters in years, anger simmers over his government’s handling of the devastating earthquakes. As rescue work continues, political mudslinging has begun with elections scheduled around May 14, the Independent reported.“The government has not prepared for an earthquake for 20 years,” said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the opposition People’s Republican Party, in a video. “If there is one person responsible for this, it is Erdogan,” he added as quoted by the international daily.
RESCUE WORK CONTINUES
Some 6,479 personnel from 56 countries have arrived in Turkiye to support the search and rescue efforts or provide humanitarian and medical aid, while rescue teams from 19 more countries will be in the country in 24 hours, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
Turkiye was rocked by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake early Monday, which was followed hours later by a second magnitude 7.6 quake, in the worst natural disaster ever seen in the country in the past decades.