Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Popular News

HomeNewsAsiaRace to find earthquake survivors, as fears mount over ‘secondary disaster'

Race to find earthquake survivors, as fears mount over ‘secondary disaster’

A huge rescue effort is continuing in Turkey and Syria to find survivors from Monday’s earthquakes which killed over 16,000 people. Relief organizations are warning of potential catastrophic consequences of humanitarian crisis caused by the disaster.

By Nathan Morley

A huge rescue effort is continuing in Turkey and Syria to find survivors from Monday’s earthquakes which killed over 19,000 people, and in which the death toll is expected to continue to rise.

The World Health Organisation has warned of a secondary disaster as hundreds of thousands of people remain without shelter or basic facilities.

‘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,” Robert Holden, the WHO’s earthquake response incident manager told journalists.

“We’ve got a lot of people who have survived now out in the open, in worsening and horrific conditions,” he explained. “This is no easy task… The scale of the operation is massive.”

Overnight, thousands of Turkish soldiers along with international teams continued to dig through rubble in a frantic search for survivors. The bitter cold is exacerbating the situation as freezing air blankets much of this region.

The death toll is likely to rise as thousands of buildings were destroyed and multiple aftershocks are hampering rescue efforts.

Earlier this week, the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 of the country’s provinces hit by the quakes. At the same time, anger is mounting that poor enforcement of construction regulations contributed to the collapse of many buildings.

Though the region where the quake struck is traversed by fault lines, no one was prepared for the heavy destruction and loss of life. It is estimated that about 13.5 million people are affected by the disaster.

Over in Syria, many were killed or left injured and homeless in Hama, Aleppo, Latakia, Tartous districts, and rebel-held areas in Idlib province.

The United Nations has released U$ 25 million from its emergency fund to help activate the humanitarian response in Syria and Turkey.

Separately, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake – which measured 7.8 – was one of the strongest that Turkey has experienced in the last century.

Popular News

Pope prays for dialogue over conflict in the Middle East

Pope Francis issues a heartfelt plea for peace in Palestine, Israel, and Ukraine, urging...

Pope remembers Pius VII, a man of communion in difficult times

Pope Francis invites Italian pilgrims from the Dioceses of Cesena-Sarsina, Savona, Imola and Tivoli...

Sri Lanka: In pursuit of justice 5 years from Easter Sunday attacks

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings,...

Cardinal Suharyo of Jakarta presents the Indonesia that Pope Francis will meet

In a wide-ranging interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, Indonesia,...