Slow recovery for Turkey

Lack of equipment slows earthquake rescue

WRITTEN BY: Danielle Olipra
Beşir Atalay
Image Source: egitimcihaber via Flickr
Beşir Atalay

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the southeastern province of Van in Turkey on Sunday has already taken hundreds of lives, and rescue workers fear the death toll will rise dramatically.  Rescue crews have explained that a lack of equipment is preventing them from performing rescues fast enough, reports the International Business Times.

Beşir Atalay, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, has announced that over 260 people are dead and at least 1,300 are injured.

In Erics, the district hit worst by the earthquake, the rescue team only has one device that helps locate people trapped in the rubble, and are relying on more “primitive” methods, such as yelling out to piles of collapsed buildings for a response. 

The Interior Minister of Erics announced that in his city alone 80 multistory buildings have collapsed, and at least half of them still have people trapped inside.  Rescue crews worked overnight to locate those trapped, and other groups have set up tents, makeshift hospitals, and kitchens to help the thousands left without homes.

People have been warned to stay away from their homes or damaged buildings for fear of more collapses during aftershocks, more than 100 of which have already occurred.

Local doctors are also concerned about their own lack of equipment to treat the wounded.  A doctor at the Medical Park Hospital told a local news crew that patients need to be transported to other nearby hospitals to receive that care they need.

This earthquake in Van is the worst in Turkey since the August of 1999, when an earthquake in Izmit killed 17,000 people.

Read more about rescue efforts here.

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