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A devastating quake


A powerful earthquake struck Turkiye and neighboring Syria in the wee hours of Monday, killing and injuring thousands of people. Images and reports coming in from the devastated areas portray an appalling human tragedy as rescuers scramble to find survivors from under the rubble of thousands of collapsed structures.

The earthquake was the deadliest in Turkiye since 1999 and the most violent ever recorded by the US Geological Survey till August 2021. There have also been other smaller earthquakes and aftershocks of various magnitude since the quake on Monday.

Pakistan stands with the people of Turkey and Syria as they continue to search for their loved ones despite the devastation brought on by this natural disaster.

On the evening of February 6, Islamabad sent the first relief flight to Turkiye with rescue specialists, sniffer dogs, search equipment, a medical team made up of army doctors, nurses, and technicians, as well as a 30-bed mobile hospital, tents, and blankets.

A 51-person team consisting of medical experts, paramedics, and rescuers was dispatched to Istanbul on Tuesday. The prime minister says that a second plane, carrying supplies like medicines, will take off soon. It is hoped that Pakistan will keep supplying both countries with the troops and aid they require. The situation in Syria is particularly overwhelming as it has been racked by over ten years of war. Pakistan must need to step up its support, both moral and financial, for the war-riven country to help it get back on its feet.

Groups of volunteers and nearby NGOs with experience in disaster response can also be helped in their trip to the afflicted areas to aid with relief efforts, if necessary.

To avoid interfering with their own rescue and relief efforts, these arrangements must be executed in close consultation with the governments of Turkey and Syria.

The weather in the affected area has been especially ferocious, with snow, bitter cold, and rain making it significantly harder than it would have otherwise been to rescue survivors from fallen buildings.

Moving rescue workers to affected areas is difficult since snowfall has severely damaged communications infrastructure and closed numerous routes. Due to damage to the utility infrastructure, the impacted cities are also facing outages of gas, electricity, and the internet.

These conditions, which are becoming harsher with each passing hour, carrying our effective relief and rescue operation seems to be a Herculean undertaking. It’s time the world community came forward and helped mitigate the immense suffering of the people beset by a slew of challenges caused by this natural catastrophe.

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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.


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