Nfter the severe earthquakes in the Turkish-Syrian border area with thousands of deaths, many more people are suspected to be under the rubble. Thousands of buildings collapsed, more than 4,200 people died, according to information from Tuesday night. According to previous information, more than 15,000 people were injured in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Numerous countries promised support, and aid teams from Germany also set off on Monday.
Temperatures in the disaster area are around freezing. Many people cannot return to their homes because they have collapsed or it would be too dangerous to return given the numerous aftershocks. According to the aid organization Care, an impending snowstorm could significantly aggravate the situation in the earthquake areas. Many roads are impassable. Among other things, Turkey asked its NATO partners for three field hospitals suitable for extreme weather conditions and personnel to set them up.
According to the UN, the devastating earthquakes in Syria mainly affected people who were already living without protection under disastrous conditions. Many internally displaced persons who lived in dilapidated accommodation before the disaster had to spend the night outdoors in snow and freezing temperatures, as a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency UNHCR told the German Press Agency on Tuesday morning. “With the many aftershocks and tremors, people were afraid to stay in their homes.”
Too few emergency shelters, blankets and warm clothes
Some of the affected areas are also remote and difficult to access. Among other things, there is not enough emergency shelter, blankets and warm clothing for the earthquake victims. Around 6.8 million internally displaced persons live in the civil war country.
The situation is also dramatic in Hatay in southern Turkey, where the power went out, an eyewitness reported on Tuesday to the German Press Agency. Help is urgently needed. The petrol stations ran out of petrol and there was no bread to buy. The electricity also failed in the neighboring province of Osmaniye, said a reporter from the broadcaster CNN Türk.
In the southeastern Turkish metropolis of Diyarbakir, many people spent the night outside, in schools or mosques, as a dpa employee reported. “People are afraid to go back to their homes,” he said. Several aftershocks were felt and it was bitterly cold. The tents of the civil protection authority Afad are not heated and are not sufficient.
Many residents of Diyarbakir tried to get into the villages. The houses there are usually one-storey and are therefore considered safer. “There’s tension, people really don’t know what to do,” he said.
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