Foreign rescue head describes damage as biggest ever

Foreign rescue head describes damage as biggest ever

Alperen Karaköse - ANKARA
Foreign rescue head describes damage as biggest ever

The destruction caused by the deadly earthquakes that hit the country’s south on Feb. 6 was the largest-ever the International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Germany has come across, the head of the German team has said.

The 45-person team deployed to Hatay’s Kırıkhan district the day after the devastating disaster returned to their country earlier last week after pulling out four people from the rubble alive.

However, 40-year-old Zeynep Kahraman died in hospital on Feb. 11, a day after she was rescued by the ISAR team from a collapsed building where she had been trapped for 104 hours.

“I’ve never seen such dramatic damages, covering such a large area,” ISAR Operations Manager Steven Bayer told Hürriyet Daily News, noting that he was involved in nine to 10 international missions for disaster response.

More than 40,000 people lost their lives in Türkiye as a result of last week’s earthquake, making it the deadliest such disaster since the country’s founding 100 years ago.

While the death toll is expected to stagger even further, many of the tens of thousands of survivors left homeless are still struggling to meet basic needs, such as finding shelter amid the bitterly cold temperatures.

Nearly 85,000 buildings in the provinces affected by the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes were detected demolished, to be demolished urgently or severely damaged, Turkish authorities announced on Feb. 17.

Elaborating on the German team’s search efforts in the quake-hit region, Bayer pointed out that they worked together with ISAR Türkiye, which was in close contact with the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

“However, most of the tips came from locals and were checked by our rescue dogs and technical search equipment,” he said, adding that they also collected tips on social media as many trapped by buildings took to Twitter and Instagram to ask for help, with emergency lines overwhelmed.

foreign aid,