WHO expresses fear of higher death tolls in Turkish earthquake

The World Health Organization issued a warning for a devastating earthquake in Turkey that the death toll may rise eight-fold. Ten cities in the south-eastern region of Turkey were hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on early Monday (04:17 am local or 01:17 am GMT). According to initial reports, local officials confirmed over 300 deaths. However, as of now, this death toll has risen to over 4,800 deaths. 12 hours after the first earthquake in south-eastern Turkey, Northern Turkey was hit by an Earthquake. The rescue teams are overworking to clear the rubble as soon as possible to save the people stuck under the rubble. But based on the destruction caused by the earthquake, the death toll is estimated to rise significantly. As per the WHO’s warning, the death toll in Turkey may rise by eight folds of the current numbers. It was one of the strongest earthquakes faced by Turkey, which could turn out to be one of the deadliest earthquakes recorded in the country. 

The first Earthquake hit the Northeastern side in the early morning when people were in deep sleep. Many said the shaking continued for almost two minutes as they rushed out to safer locations. People watched their homes getting demolished and witnessed the deaths of their family members and close ones. While people in the country are still struggling to overcome their losses from the first earthquake, a second earthquake of magnitude 7.5 hit Northern Turkey. Seismologists estimated that the epicenter of the earthquake was near the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province. Besides the second earthquake, many cities in Turkey are still experiencing aftershocks due to seismic activity. 

Along with Turkey, Syria has also suffered from this devastating earthquake. After suffering from an earthquake on Monday, the rescue operations in both countries resulted in a significant rise in the death count. As of now, the death toll has almost reached shy of 5,000 deaths. Many experts have said that the timing of the earthquake is behind such a huge death toll as people had little to no time to save themselves. One of the important steps of saving yourself from an earthquake involves immediately stepping out of the home and moving to the ground or if you are unable to move out, then take cover under a table or bed. But as people were in their deep sleep, they almost had no time to react to the crisis, thus many people got stuck under the concrete rubble. Because of the night's darkness, rescue teams also had a rough time locating the people buried under rubble, which further contributed to a higher death toll. 

Both countries are working as fast as possible to clear the rubble and save the families stuck under the rubble. But it is highly unlikely that these people would be saved alive after being stuck for such long under the rubble of collapsed homes. Many countries have expressed their support for Turkey and Syria during such tough times. Syria especially needs help to overcome this natural disaster as over 80% of the Syrian population is under the poverty line.