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As rescue efforts diminish, the death toll from the Turkey-Syria earthquake has surpassed 28,000 people

As rescue efforts diminish, the death toll from the Turkey-Syria earthquake has surpassed 28,000 people

As rescue efforts diminish, the death toll from the Turkey-Syria earthquake has surpassed 28,000 people
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  • The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria has topped 28,000.
  • German rescuers and the Austrian army suspended their search activities.
  • Mr. Erdogan has admitted shortcomings in the response.
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Unrest in southern Turkey has hampered rescue attempts following Monday’s fatal earthquake, according to three rescue organizations.

The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria has topped 28,000, and despite some miracle rescues, hope for many more surviving is diminishing.

On Saturday, German rescuers and the Austrian army suspended their search activities, blaming conflicts between unknown factions.

One rescuer predicted that security would deteriorate when food supplies ran out.

According to local media, approximately 50 people have been arrested for looting, with numerous guns seized.

Turkey’s president has stated that he will utilize emergency powers to punish anyone who violates the law.

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According to an Austrian army spokeswoman, skirmishes between unidentified parties in the Hatay province have forced hundreds of Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit personnel to seek refuge in a base camp with other international organizations.

The chances of saving a life are disproportionate

“In Turkey, there is increased aggression between factions,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Kugelweis in a statement. “The chances of saving a life are disproportionate to the safety risk.”

After Austria suspended its rescue efforts, the country’s defense minister announced that the Turkish army had stepped in to provide security, allowing the rescue operations to resume.

The German branch of the search and rescue organization ISAR, as well as the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (TSW) in Germany, have also ceased operations, citing security concerns.

“There are more and more reports of clashes between different factions, shots have also been fired,” said ISAR spokesperson Stefan Heine.

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Isar’s operations manager, Steven Bayer, predicted that security would deteriorate as food, water, and hope became scarcer.

“We are watching the security situation very closely as it develops,” he said.

German rescue workers indicated they would continue operations as soon as Turkish authorities deemed the situation safe.

Fuat Oktay, Turkey’s Vice President, reported on Saturday that the death toll in Turkey had grown to 24,617.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

While Turkey‘s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has not commented on the reported violence in Hatay, he did emphasize on Saturday that the government would pursue those implicated in crimes in the province.

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“We’ve declared a state of emergency,” Mr. Erdogan said during a visit to the disaster zone today. “It means that, from now on, the people who are involved in looting or kidnapping should know that the state’s firm hand is on their backs.”

According to sources, 48 persons were arrested for looting on Saturday, according to state media. According to Turkish state media, multiple firearms, as well as cash, jewelry, and bank cards, were seized.

“People were smashing the windows and gates of stores and automobiles,” a 26-year-old guy looking for a work colleague in a collapsed building in Antakya told sources.

Police in Turkey has also reportedly detained 12 persons in connection with fallen structures in the provinces of Gaziantep and Sanliurfa. According to the sources, they included contractors.

In Turkey, at least 6,000 buildings fell, prompting doubts about whether the large-scale catastrophe might have been averted and whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government should have done more to save lives.

With elections approaching, the president’s position is in jeopardy after 20 years in office and his calls for national unity going unheeded.

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Mr. Erdogan has admitted shortcomings in the response, but he appeared to blame fate on a visit to one disaster zone: “Such things have always happened. It’s part of destiny’s plan.”

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