The window for discovering survivors under the wreckage is rapidly narrowing, experts have warned, yet many distressed families claim that a lack of rescuers and supplies is reducing their prospects of rescuing loved ones.
The president of Turkey has acknowledged that his nation’s response to the terrible earthquake that has claimed more than 15,000 lives has had “shortcomings.”
As the likelihood that additional survivors will be discovered decreases, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is coming under increasing pressure from relatives who are upset by the rescue teams’ delayed reaction.
It is now known that 15,865 individuals, 12,873 of whom died in Turkey, died across Syria and Turkey.
Many Turks have expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of resources, knowledge, and assistance available to assist those who are trapped, leaving them powerless as they hear cries from beneath the debris.
During a trip to the devastated province of Hatay, where more than 3,300 people have perished, Erdogan made the following remarks: “Such a catastrophe cannot be anticipated or planned for. No one among our citizens will go unattended.”
Similar problems are being claimed in neighboring Syria, where the government is said to lack “capabilities and equipment,” according to the country’s UN envoy.
Many people in the regions of Turkey and Syria that were most severely affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its accompanying aftershocks are reluctant to enter buildings again.
One guy in the Turkish city of Antakya said, “We survived the earthquake, but we shall perish here from hunger and cold.”
A small child wearing pajamas and an older guy clutching an unlit cigarette between his fingers are seen being rescued from the rubble in video evidence that some survivors are still being recovered.
The likelihood of survival is decreasing
Experts claim that the window of opportunity for people who are trapped to survive is already fast closing, but it is still too early to give up hope.
According to Steven Godby, a specialist in natural hazards, “the survival percentage is typically 74% after 24 hours, 22% after 72 hours, and 6% by the fifth day.”
Professor David Alexander of emergency management and planning at University College London said: “According to statistics, this is the day when we will no longer be able to detect individuals. That does not imply that we should give up looking.”
He continued by stating that due to the massive amount of wreckage covering Turkey and Syria, the precise number of dead could not be determined for several weeks.
“Nothing can be picked up with our hands,”
Some rescue crews can utilize excavators, but others are stuck with just their bare hands.
Ozel Pikal, who helped with the search operations in the Turkish city of Malatya, worries that some of the people who were trapped may have frozen to death as a result of the -6C temperatures.
“There is currently no longer any hope for Malatya. Nobody is emerging alive from the debris, “said he.
Mr. Pikal issued a warning that the difficulty of saving individuals was being made worse by damage to local roads and a lack of rescuers.
Added him: “We can’t pick anything up because our hands are too chilly. Machines for work are required.”
Erdogan responds to criticism
The president of Turkey has promised that the government will provide earthquake-affected households with 10,000 Turkish lira (£440).
The natural calamity strikes as Mr. Erdogan faces an already difficult election campaign in May that is being fueled by rising inflation and a recession in the economy.
He criticized those propagating “lies and slander” about the acts of his administration in a press conference, calling for unity and support.
He said, “I can’t stand it when individuals run smear campaigns for political gain.
In an effort to combat false information on the earthquake response, Turkish police have detained 18 suspects and found more than 200 accounts that are allegedly “creating fear and terror.”
Twitter access has also been limited by several internet service providers in the nation, which has an impact on stranded survivors who have been using the social network to notify rescuers and their families.
Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, said: “We are reaching out to understand more.” The Turkish government has been known to briefly block access to social media amid national emergencies and terrorist incidents.