Turkish construction industry provides aid following deadly earthquakes

The Turkish Contractors Association (TMB) has called for its members to mobilise their construction equipment and aid the rescue mission, following the devastation caused by two huge earthquakes that hit Turkey and northern Syria on Monday.

Rescuers search for survivors under the rubble following an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey. (Photo: Reuters)

Across the two nations, more than 5,000 people are now confirmed dead, with many more potentially trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings across ten affected Turkish provinces.

The first quake measured 7.8 in magnitude and was reportedly felt as far away as the UK.

The second quake was almost as heavy, at magnitude 7.5, and the combination caused the collapse of some 3,500 buildings.

Urgent help required

In a message to its members, the TMB said, “It is important to reach the citizens under the rubble within 48 hours”.

The association pointed out that the need to recover victims was even more urgent, given the poor weather conditions, with snow and heavy rain hampering various rescue missions.

A Turkish journalist told the BBC News Channel that he, along with his media colleagues, has been receiving videos, voice notes and live locations from people currently trapped beneath the rubble.

In a statement, the TMB said, “We offer our condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in the earthquake and a speedy recovery to the injured. We convey our best wishes to all of Turkey.”

International community

The international response to the disaster has been swift, with the European Union sending rescue teams and individual nations, including France, Germany, the US and the UK offering assitance.

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria Rescue teams search for survivors in Al Atareb, Syria, in the aftermath of the earthquakes. (Photo: White Helmets via Reuters)

Soon after news of the second earthquake emerged, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the number of victims would be likely to rise as much as eight times.

The WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, told AFP, “We always see the same thing with earthquakes, unfortunately, which is that the initial reports of the numbers of people who have died or who have been injured will increase quite significantly in the week that follows.”

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