The Humanitarian Phase in Turkey-Syria Earthquakes of 2023 Now in Full Swing
Rescuers in Turkey have been working tirelessly to find survivors amidst the rubble of thousands of buildings that have collapsed in the wake of a devastating earthquake. So far, rescue teams have managed to successfully pull out 33 survivors, including a 72-year-old woman, a 6-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl, as well as a 40-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl.
Two brothers, 17 and 21, and an 18-year-old boy and a man were also pulled from the rubble along with a woman from the southern province of Hatay, who was rescued by the Ukraine’s rescue team.
In addition to the rescue operations, aid has been pouring into Turkey and Syria. Fifty-two UN trucks have crossed into Syria via the Bab Al-Salam and Bab Al-Hawa border crossings, carrying relief supplies. Meanwhile, countries such as Indonesia and Iran have sent aid to Turkey.
The humanitarian phase is now in full swing, as the rescue phase is coming to a close. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said that the focus must now shift to providing shelter, psychosocial care, food, and schooling for those affected.
Residents of southern Turkey and Syria are angry at what they believe are sub-standard, possibly illegal, construction practices that were responsible for the severity of the disaster. As the death toll continues to climb, Turkey's Foreign Ministry has reported that over 9,200 foreign personnel are taking part in the country’s search and rescue operations, with 100 countries offering help.
The Turkey–Syria earthquakes of 2023 could be one of the worst earthquakes of the century, with the death toll currently standing at over 35,000. Arrest warrants have been issued for building contractors who are suspected to have been involved in the construction of the buildings that collapsed. With rescue efforts winding down, the focus must now shift to providing aid and support to those affected by this devastating disaster.
0. “Turkey rescuers say voices are still being heard under the rubble” CNN, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/14/europe/turkey-earthquake-voices-heard-under-rubble-intl-hnk/index.html
1. “A week after quakes, survivors in Turkey and Syria still wait for aid” The Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/02/13/syria-turkey-earthquakes-rescue-aid/
2. “Rescuers keep digging for survivors a week after the Turkey-Syria earthquake” MPR News, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.mprnews.org/story/2023/02/13/npr-rescuers-keep-digging-for-survivors-a-week-after-the-turkey-syria-earthquake
3. “Turkey earthquake live updates: Desperation as rescue efforts continue” USA TODAY, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2023/02/14/turkey-syria-earthquake-updates-death-toll/11253616002/