Turkey-Syria Earthquake: Experts Fear ‘Looming’ Second Crisis


Search and rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria have been stretched to the limit ever since a huge, deadly earthquake struck on Monday and yet another crisis could be around the corner, according to experts.

The 7.8 magnitude quake triggered the collapse of thousands of buildings, trapping people inside.

As of Thursday morning GMT, the death count had exceeded 16,000. By afternoon, it had reached 19,800 – and was still climbing.

But, there have been still miraculous stories about people surviving within the debris of collapsed buildings, prompting hope that there may be more still alive.

Search teams from around the world have travelled to the disaster-torn countries to help in any way they can, trying to both rescue trapped people and meet the immediate needs – shelter, food, and water.

As Sky News explained, aid workers had a huge task on their hands. They needed coordination between teams and analysis of local areas so there was more of a focus on places where they might be more likely to find survivors (which also depends on local knowledge).

The area also needs to be stabilised – so it is safe to search for anyone who may still be trapped – with heavy machinery deployed to cut through buildings.

In the first 24 hours, the survival rate is 74%, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). This goes down to 22% in the first 72 hours, decreasing to 6% after that.

Even so, the efforts tend to last between five and seven days. After that, rescue missions have to make the difficult decision to stop and focus on those already pulled from the rubble.

However, experts have warned that a second, humanitarian crisis, might already be on the horizon as everyone who is now homeless in the wake of the earthquake is particularly vulnerable.


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