Turkish authorities announced ending search for survivors under the rubble of the earthquake
After announcing the completion of the search for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings due to the earthquake, which left more than 40,000 people dead, the Turkish authorities are expected to start a new phase of efforts, which may take a long time and require significant financial resources.
On Sunday, the Turkish authorities stated that the search for survivors of the earthquake has ended in all regions except for two provinces, noting that the death toll from the earthquake rose to 40,689.
The head of the Turkish Disaster Management Authority (AFAD), Yunus Sezer, said, “Research efforts have ended in many provinces… It continues in the provinces of Kahramanmaraş and Hatay, in about forty buildings”.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which caused massive damage in the south of the country and in Syria, killed about 45,000 people, including 40,689 in Türkiye, according to the latest official toll published by the administration on Sunday.
No new survivors were pulled from under the rubble in the past 24 hours, after a couple were rescued in Antakya, the capital of Hatay province, on Saturday, 296 hours after the earthquake.
In the last three days, seven survivors have been pulled from the rubble in Antakya, including the couple’s son, who died shortly after his rescue.
In the province of Kahramanmaraş, the epicenter of the earthquake, the chances of survival appear to be less than their counterparts in Hatay, due to the frost and the temperature reaching minus 15 degrees Celsius at night in snowy areas such as the orchard.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that 105,000 buildings have collapsed or been severely damaged and will be demolished.
Experts say that earthquake rescue operations usually consist of several stages, and are carried out in coordination between the government, local authorities, volunteers and humanitarian institutions.
Search operations are the rescuers’ top priority, and when the completion of this stage is announced, this means that the chances of finding alive survivors under the rubble are almost non-existent.
In the case of Türkiye, this announcement came 13 days after the earthquake occurred on February 6th, and after searching operations included all the affected areas.
Experts indicate that search and rescue operations may resume at any moment if any indications of survivors are found.
After stopping the search efforts, Turkish authorities will move to the stage of removing the rubble, assessing the damage and reconstruction, in addition to taking care of the health and psychological survivors.
Rubble removal means removing rubble from collapsed buildings, trees, broken rocks, and other materials that accumulate after an earthquake.
At this stage, heavy equipment and special machines are being used to remove the rubble in a safe and effective manner.
Damage assessment, as during this stage, material damage and losses to the areas that witnessed the earthquake are assessed.
This assessment helps to develop a comprehensive and clear plan for reconstruction.
Reconstruction, which is the stage that includes rebuilding destroyed facilities, rehabilitating damaged areas, and providing the necessary support for the injured and survivors.
The initial material losses of the Türkiye earthquake were estimated between 30 and 40 billion US dollars.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that the reconstruction process would begin after weeks.
Our envoy stated that the authorities issued, during the past hours, directives to evacuate entire neighborhoods, streets and areas as soon as possible, in preparation for the start of rubble removal operations.