More rescues in earthquake in Turkey as window for survival closes

More rescues in earthquake in Turkey as window for survival closes

ANTAKAYA, Turkey (AP) — Rescue workers pulled a 40-year-old woman from the rubble of a building Monday, a week after two powerful earthquakes struck, but reports of rescues have been less frequent since the earthquake reached its limits. The ability of the human body to survive without water, especially at sub-freezing temperatures.

On February 6, earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 struck southeast Turkey and northern Syria within nine hours. They killed at least 33,185 people, with numbers expected to rise significantly as search teams find more bodies, and decimated towns and cities. Millions of pieces of concrete and twisted metal.

Rescuers on Monday pulled a 40-year-old woman from the rubble of a 5-story building in Islahiye city in Gaziantep province. The woman, Sibel Kaya, was rescued after spending 170 hours under the rubble by a mixed crew that included members of a Turkish coal mine rescue team.

Earlier, a 60-year-old woman named Erengul Onder was also pulled from the rubble in Besni town in Adiaman province by teams from the western city of Manisa.

Manisa Mayor Cengiz Ergun wrote on Twitter, “We received news of a miracle from Besni that helped light the fire in our hearts a little.”

Eduardo Reynoso Angulo, a professor at the Institute of Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the chances of finding humans alive “are now very low.”

The lead author of a 2017 study involving deaths inside buildings struck by earthquakes, Reynoso said the chance of survival for people trapped in debris dropped dramatically after five days and was close to zero after nine days, though there were exceptions.

David Alexander, professor of emergency planning and management at University College London, agreed, saying the window to pull people alive from the rubble was “almost over”.

But, he said, the odds weren’t very good to begin with. Alexander said many buildings were so poorly constructed that they collapsed into very small pieces, with few spaces large enough for human habitation.

“If any kind of frame building goes, generally speaking we find openings in the pile of rubble where we can tunnel,” Alexander said. “Looking at some of the photographs of Turkey and Syria, there is no empty space.”

Winter conditions further reduce the window for survival. Temperatures in the region dropped to minus 6 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight.

“The way the body compensates for hypothermia is by shivering — and shivering requires a lot of calories,” says Dr. Stephanie Lareau, a professor of emergency medicine at Virginia Tech. “So if someone is deprived of food for a long time and exposed to cold temperatures, they’re likely to hypothermia more quickly. going to be infected.”

A week after the earthquake struck, many people were still homeless on the streets. Some survivors were still waiting in front of the collapsed building waiting for the bodies of their loved ones to be retrieved.

Many in Turkey blamed faulty construction for the massive devastation, and authorities began Targeting contractors Alleged involvement in collapsing buildings.

At least 131 people are under investigation for their alleged role in constructing buildings that failed to withstand the earthquake, officials said.

Turkey has introduced building codes that meet earthquake-engineering standards, but experts say Codes are rarely enforced.

in syriaUN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said the international community had failed to deliver aid.

Visiting the Turkish-Syrian border on Sunday, Griffiths said the Syrians were “looking for international aid that has not come.”

“We have so far failed the people of northwest Syria. They rightly feel abandoned,” he said, adding, “My responsibility and our responsibility is to correct this failure as quickly as possible.

The death toll from the earthquake in northwestern rebel-held Syria has reached 2,166, according to the White Helmets rescue group. The overall death toll in Syria stood at 3,553 on Saturday, although reports of 1,387 deaths for government-held parts of the country have not been updated in days. Turkey’s death toll as of Sunday was 29,605.

In the Syrian capital, Damascus, the head of the World Health Organization warned that the pain would worsen, calling the disaster an “unfolding tragedy affecting millions of people”.

“The complex crisis of conflict, Covid, cholera, economic collapse and now earthquakes has caused unbearable damage,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.


Fraser reports from Ankara, Turkey, and El Dib from Adana, Turkey. Contributed by Ben Finley of Norfolk, Virginia.

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