Citizens in the northeastern Turkish city of Van experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake Oct. 23. The earthquake destroyed more than a hundred buildings in Van and the nearby city of Ercis. The confirmed death toll now stands at 423, with the number rising as more debris is removed.
More than 2,000 teams with dozens of sniffer dogs are involved in the search and rescue effort to find surviors. However, more often than not, they find bodies of the deceased. Cranes and other heavy equipment are also being used to attempt to move the heavy slabs of concrete from toppled buildings.
Over 200 afterschocks rocked the region after the quake, further slowing down the rescue efforts underway. Aid organizations have set up makeshift hospitals and tent kitchens to help the thousands left homeless and the approximately 1,300 injured.
Leaders from around the globe have pledged assistance to the relief effort, but for now Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan has stated that the country will be able to cope by itself.
Turkey lies on one of the world’s most active seismic zones and faces constant danger from the numerous fault lines running through the country. Experts predicted tens of thousands of deaths if an earthquake were to hit the northeastern part of the country where the capital and largest city of Istanbul lies.
By Sami Pathan
-source: www.nytimes.com, www.time.com