Turkey’s President has acknowledged that there were “shortcomings” in the country’s response to the earthquake that killed more than 15,000 people.
Recep Tayyip Turkey is being criticized by families frustrated at the slow response of rescue teams. As hope dwindles for more survivors, there is growing doubt.
It is now known that at least 15865 people in Turkey and Syria have died – 12,873 of them were in Turkey.
Turkey – Syria earthquake – latest updates
Many Turks complained about a lack in equipment, expertise, and support to assist those trapped. They are left helpless when they hear the cries under the rubble.
Erdogan stated that it was impossible to prepare for such a catastrophe when he visited Hatay province. More than 3300 people have been killed and entire neighborhoods have been destroyed. We won’t leave any of our citizens without care.”
Similar problems are being reported in Syria’s neighboring country, where the UN ambassador admits that the government lacks the necessary capabilities and equipment.
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Many people in Turkey and Syria are afraid to go back inside buildings after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its aftermath.
Antakya, a man from Turkey said that “we survived the earthquake but will die here because of hunger and cold.”
Some survivors are still being located. The footage shows a young girl wearing pyjamas while an older man holds a lit cigarette between his fingers.
Survival chances are decreasing
Experts say that the survival window is closing quickly for trapped people, but it is still too early to give up hope.
Steven Godby, a natural hazards expert, stated that the survival rate in 24 hours is 74%. After 72 hours, it drops to 22%. By day five, it drops to 6%.
David Alexander, University College London professor of emergency management and planning, stated that today was the day statistically when people will stop searching for them. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop looking.
He warned that the final number may not be known until weeks due to the sheer volume of rubble in Turkey and Syria.
“Our hands can’t pick up anything”
Some rescue teams have excavators while others are forced to use their hands.
Ozel Pikal, who helped with the search efforts in Malatya in Turkey, worries that some trapped people may have died from freezing to death as a result of temperatures dropping to -6C.
“As of today there is no hope in Malatya. He said that no one was coming out of the rubble alive.
Pikal stated that the damage to roads and a lack of rescuers was limiting efforts to save people.
He said, “Our hands can’t pick up anything because of the cold.” Machines are required for work.
Erdogan retorts against critics
Turkey’s President has promised that 10,000 Turkish Lira (PS440), will be distributed to earthquake victims.
This natural disaster occurs at a difficult time for Mr Erdogan who faces an already challenging election campaign this May, fueled by high inflation and a downturn.
He spoke to reporters and criticised those who spread “lies and slanders” about his government’s actions. He also said that it was a time of unity and solidarity.
He said, “I can’t stomach people running negative campaigns for political interests.”
Turkey’s police have taken steps to combat misinformation about the earthquake response. They have arrested 18 people, identified more than 200 accounts and made arrests.
Some internet service providers in the nation have also blocked access to Twitter, affecting those survivors who used the social network to alert rescuers as well as their families.
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The Turkish government has been known for temporarily limiting access to social media during terror attacks and national emergencies. Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, stated that this was a tactic they are trying to implement.