‘Scale of quakes in Türkiye unprecedented’

‘Scale of quakes in Türkiye unprecedented’

‘Scale of quakes in Türkiye unprecedented’

Alvaro Rodriguez, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Türkiye, has said that he has witnessed many quakes and wars throughout his career, but the scale of the Feb. 6 quakes is unprecedented, creating a dramatic destruction.

“I have been and worked in the earthquake zones such as Pakistan and Tanzania before. Also, I am from Chile. We experience earthquakes every day in Chile. In short, I am used to quakes. However, the scale of these earthquakes has never been seen before,” Rodriguez told to daily Milliyet after his visit to the earthquake-hit province of Kahramanmaraş.

He also underlined that the destruction in the cities caused by the earthquakes is at a dramatic level.

Touching upon another issue that attracted his attention in the earthquake zone, Rodriguez said that the intervention made by the state was sufficient for such a large area of destruction.

“The scale of the intervention carried out is also extremely impressive. Citizens can sometimes complain and criticize the slowness of this intervention we see. But we are talking about 11 provinces and about 15.5 million people. Therefore, being able to meet all needs is extremely difficult,” Rodriguez expressed.

He also underlined that the international support and assistance that came together right after the earthquakes was also impressive.

“Perhaps the most important thing is agony of people. When we went there, we saw fathers and mothers in great sadness and pain. They were watching the search and rescue teams and trying to search for their children. There was also anger and frustration in people, they were very upset,” Rodriguez expressed.

Responding to criticism that the process is slow in the U.N.’s appeal for $1 billion in aid, Rodriguez recalled that together with Türkiye, they have requested assistance for many parts of the world.

“There were similar calls for Ukraine and Syria at the time when Türkiye needed support, and they all developed in the same week, turbulent events in Africa and Ethiopia occurred at the same time.”

“Therefore, the demand for humanitarian aid is greater than the supply. There are also many reasons for this, such as global inflation and recession in the economy,” he explained.