Hopes dim for Turkey quake victims as toll mounts

Hopes dim for Turkey quake victims as toll mounts

VAN - Anatolia News Agency
Hopes dim for Turkey quake victims as toll mounts

The Herculean task of searching and rescuing survivors in the quake-hit southeaster province of Van comes to a halt, as rescuers start to wrap up their efforts. AA photo.

Teams who have been working around the clock for a week to rescue survivors from the Van earthquake were set to wind up their activities by nightfall yesterday, according to Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay.

“We would like to thank the international community. Countries like Iran and Azerbaijan have shown extreme sensitivity. We first rejected [outside] aid to see our own potential but they can send us aid equipment such as tents, prefabricated houses, containers and blankets. We would like to thank every country that has shown interest,” Atalay said during a press conference on Oct. 29.

A total of 35,257 tents – 3,548 from abroad – have been sent to the region, Atalay said, adding that a staff of 250 doctors and a 900-person team from the Emergency Aid Team had been sent to the region.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the devastating earthquake has now risen to 596, the government’s emergency unit said yesterday. Some 188 people have been pulled out alive from the rubble, while more than 4,150 people have been injured, according to officials.

Meanwhile, health officials in Van’s Erciş district, the epicenter of the Oct. 23 quake, warned survivors against drinking tap water, saying the water network had been damaged during the temblor and could be contaminated with sewage.