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After a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Turkey on Sunday, people are scrambling to rescue those who may still be buried underneath the rubble of destroyed buildings. The southeastern region of Turkey was badly hit by the earthquake, where the death toll has soared to over 400.
Over 1,300 people have been injured because of this natural disaster. As time speeds forward, the amount feared dead is expected to rise. Thousands of buildings have collapsed due to the destructive power of the earthquake, burying people within layers of concrete and debris. The town of Van is one of the hardest hit areas in Turkey, along with Ercis.
The southeastern region of Turkey is heavily mountainous and is considered to be one of the poorest areas of the country. Turkey is located on a geological fault line that makes it highly susceptible to destructive earthquakes. 90 countries from around the world have stretched out their funds towards Turkey in hopes of rescuing potential survivors and providing aid.
Turkey’s government has held by its strong stance of providing for its own country and has only accepted the help from neighboring countries Azerbaijan and Iran. Turkey is continuously being pressured to agree to international aid as the devastation from the earthquake continues to take a toll on its citizens.
The government is receiving much criticism for not accepting international aid when hundreds of people are still missing. Many of the hard to reach areas are remote villages. Rescue efforts have not been able to travel to these areas because roads are impassable.
Typical villages in this area have houses made out of clay and mud, which are materials that are not made to withstand the powers of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, believes that the majority of the buildings in these remote villages are completely destroyed.
Turkey’s Health Ministry has set up a crisis center in Ankara, while the hardest hit areas of Turkey have had help from international relief organizations. 2,300 emergency personnel have arrived to the hardest hit areas of the region by Monday and continue searching for people in collapsed buildings.
Upcoming weather forecasts will undeniably play a role in the rescue efforts as overnight freezing temperatures are predicted, as well as snow. Hundreds of aftershocks have played a detrimental role in rescuing people, often making it hard to make successful rescues. Positive rescue efforts have been seen throughout the hard hit areas.
On Tuesday, an infant girl at just two weeks old was rescued with her mother and grandmother within their destroyed home. Their family was taken to a hospital in Ercis, near the town of Van, where much of the earthquake’s impact was felt. There are many organizations that are helping with the earthquake crisis and a numerous amount of ways people can donate to this unfortunate disaster.
The Turkish Red Crescent has set up tents for those who have become homeless after the earthquake, along with providing food and water for thousands. Donations are being accepted by the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. Donations can be made on the website of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.
From the United States, people can donate $10 by calling (941) 907-6036 or text “SHELTER” to 20222.