Rescue workers in Turkey and Syria were scouting for signs of life in the bitter cold nearly a week after the most destructive earthquake in recent memory, as the death toll exceeded 33,000 and survivors voiced anger over the rescue attempts.
On Sunday, the senior humanitarian official for the UN claimed that the people of northwest Syria, where a complex political scenario has developed as a result of more than 12 years of civil conflict, have been “failed” by relief efforts.
From the Turkey-Syria border, Martin Griffiths posted on Twitter that “they properly feel abandoned.” “Looking for foreign assistance that hasn’t shown up.”
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred on Monday damaged tens of thousands of structures and injured thousands of people in southern Turkey and northern Syria. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, up to 5.3 million Syrians may require housing, and the death toll in both nations is steadily increasing.
The interior ministry of Turkey reported that 29,605 people had died in the country as of Sunday afternoon. The White Helmets, a group of rescue workers, report that 2,166 people have died in the northwest of Syria in the area controlled by rebels. The Associated Press stated that the 1,387 dead reported for the regions of Syria controlled by the government had not been updated in days, but the overall death toll in Syria was at 3,553 on Saturday.
However, reports of some amazing recoveries gave cause for optimism. A small child was rescued from the rubble in Hatay, Turkey, on Sunday “in the 150th hour,” according to the nation’s health minister, who also shared a video of the rescue on Twitter.
According to Reuters, approval concerns with the Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have “held up” earthquake supplies from government-held areas of Syria into regions governed by hard-line opposition groups.
Despite long-standing tensions between the two nations, Greece’s foreign minister paid a support visit to Turkey on Sunday.
Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, claimed that a Pakistani citizen entered the Turkish Embassy in the United States and gave $30 million to help earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey. On Twitter, Sharif expressed his “very moved” state.
Syria’s “secondary crisis,” according to the IRC chief
Concerns regarding relief efforts in Syria were expressed on Sunday by the head of the International Rescue Committee.
“The Turkish government is quite powerful on that side of the border. You’re engaged in a major humanitarian initiative, “According to the associated press, the company’s president and CEO are David Miliband. On the Syrian side of the border, there are individuals who, in all honesty, have been neglected for the past ten years.
According to rescue teams on the ground, water and sanitation infrastructure are in “ruins,” Miliband told the associated press, and there is a lack of food, medicine, and basic hygiene supplies for Syrians. He stated that because aid is mostly restricted at the Turkey-Syria border and there is just one accessible humanitarian crossing point, Syrians are in “severe danger of a secondary crisis.”
“According to information from the UN, the Syrian government will permit supplies to enter this region that is held by rebels from the government-controlled side. However, to be completely honest, that way is indirect and mired in politics “He told the publication.
Miliband encouraged the U.S. to send more financial aid and requested a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to explore establishing more border-crossing sites.
“The United States must play a crucial role in urging others not to forget about these people. Twelve years have passed since the start of the Syrian civil war, Miliband told the associated press, adding, “The world has changed. But the situation is still tense.”
Over Turkey’s earthquake response, sadness gives way to tension
Many people in Turkey express their frustration about the poor pace of rescue efforts and the loss of crucial time during the limited window for discovering survivors under the wreckage.
Others claim that Turkey’s government delayed providing aid to the hardest-hit region for what they consider to be political and religious motives. This is especially true in the southern Hatay province close to the Syrian border.
Elif Busra Ozturk waited outside the rubble of a building in Adiyaman, southeast Turkey, on Saturday where her uncle and aunt were trapped and presumed dead and where the bodies of two of her cousins had already been discovered.
“I waited outside for assistance for three days. Nobody arrived. Because there were so few rescue teams, they could only act in areas where they were certain that there were still people alive “She spoke.
Following earthquakes, Turkey issued arrest warrants for building contractors
Six days after the earthquakes, when rescuers were still pulling a few lucky survivors from the wreckage, Turkish authorities detained or issued arrest warrants for roughly 130 people who were allegedly engaged in the construction of the collapsed buildings that killed their residents.
The attention shifted to who was to blame for not better preparing people in the earthquake-prone region, which includes a section of Syria that was already suffering from years of civil war, as sorrow also fueled resentment at the agonizingly delayed rescue attempts.
There are helping hands and sporadic joyous moments amidst the destruction
A Turkish woman who was distraught at the possibility that her son had perished in the earthquake was calmed down thanks to the joint efforts of a caring soldier and a neighbor, a rare pleasant development amidst the unfathomable agony of the calamity.
According to Reuters, the Turkish soldier climbed into the bucket of an excavator on Saturday to search a quake-damaged Antakya home for the cell phone of a 75-year-old woman who had not heard from her son in five days.
The gadget, which belonged to a woman who identified herself as Mama Busra, was found by Murathan Adil, but the battery was dead. But as she waited for a word in the park, someone in a nearby building overheard her son’s name and claimed he knew him and that he was okay.
When the caller dialed the woman’s son, Mama Busra sobbed when she heard him respond. Hearing his speech made her feel as though the world had been given to her.
How long can humans endure a catastrophe?
After an earthquake, people can live for a variety of lengths of time. A person’s chance of survival if they are buried under rubble after an earthquake mostly depends on their injuries, where and how they are buried, their age, their general health, the weather, and other circumstances.
According to specialists, the majority of persons buried alive beneath earthquake debris only have a week or so to live.
Dr. Jarone Lee, an expert in emergency and disaster medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the Associated Press that it is typically uncommon to locate survivors after the fifth to seventh days and that most search and rescue teams will contemplate ending by then.
“There are many accounts of people living much longer than seven days,” Lee continued. Unfortunately, these are typically exceptional and rare situations.