Earthquake takes a toll to more than 7,800 deaths in Turkey and Syria

As forces race against time and weather conditions to rescue survivors, the death toll in the affected region rises to approximately 8000 with the number of injured rising above 35000. According to the UNICEF, several children have lost lives and others have been orphaned. Due to damages of roads, warehouses and lack of advanced tools, rescue operations have put the forces in a tough situation.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the Hatay airport was locked up since the quake destroyed the runaway which has complicated the rescue operations.

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Although the international community has provided immediate support in terms of rescue forces, equipments, volunteers and basic necessities, they are still insufficient to meet the demands of the public. The public has lost their home and families and are huddle on the cold streets which is proving to be hazardous to the survivors.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces however the Turkish public is anguished by the delayed and unsatisfactory response of the government in such a disastrous situation.

The government informed that they plan to open hotels in the tourism hub of Antalya to temporarily house people impacted by the quakes, said Erdogan, who faces a national election in three months’ time.

Since the deadly earthquake of 1999 in Turkey that claimed nearly 17,500 lives, Turkey had levied “the earthquake tax” to use in case of natural disasters however how that money was actually spent is not publicly known. The revenues – now estimated to be worth 88bn liras, or $4.6bn – were meant to have been spent on disaster prevention and the development of emergency services.

The public has vouched to take rescue operations into their own hands if the government fails to provide better machinery to rescue survivors whose cries they can hear from the rumble.