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Oct-26-2011 16:27printcomments

IHH Emergency Teams continue relief efforts in quake-stricken Van

Immediately after the quake, IHH aid teams rushed to the region to join search and rescue efforts.

Photos: IHH

(ISTANBUL) - Emergency teams of IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation continue relief efforts in Van’s Erciş district which was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Sunday. The aid teams which rushed to the area immediately after the quake took part in search and rescue efforts throughout the night. IHH Emergency Aid Coordinator Recep Güzel who is in the disaster region said there are still dozens of people under demolished buildings while noting that there is a problem of water shortage in the area. Another IHH official Gülden Sönmez, member of the IHH executive board, said there is a need for funeral vehicles to carry the dead bodies.

There is water shortage problem in the region

Turkey was shaken by the news of the quake in Van on Sunday. The epicenter of the quake was the village of Tabanlı. The quake demolished dozens of buildings in central Van and in Erciş district. The destruction caused by the quake in Erciş was larger. While no official statement has yet been made about the death toll and the number of the injured, 1000 people are feared to be dead in the earthquake.

Immediately after the quake, IHH aid teams rushed to the region to join search and rescue efforts. IHH’s Güzel who joined the search and rescue efforts in Erciş said there is a big chaos in the region and there are many demolished buildings which have not yet been accessed. Güzel also said the rubbles are taken care of by Turkish and foreign search and rescue teams.

IHH in the region with a 200-member team

“There are currently 150 dead in Erciş but many of the demolished buildings have not yet been accessed. As IHH, we support emergency relief efforts in the region with a 140-member team. In addition to 140 people who came from Alanya, Antalya, Erzurum, İzmir, Kayseri, Konya, K.Maraş, Bingöl, Adıyaman, İstanbul, Sakarya, Muş, Ağrı and Bitlis, there are 38 specially-trained and licensed aid IHH workers who joined in the search and rescue efforts in Van. Yet, there is a chaos here. The aid teams are shown the wreckages on which they will work but the locals who want to help the aid teams make things more difficult. Authorities should immediately make a coordination here,” said Güzel.

Quake victims share even a piece of bread

Güzel who said there is a problem of water shortage in the region explained: “One of the biggest problems in Erciş currently is water shortage. The water network in the district is broken down and access to clean drinking water is limited. Locals display a big solidarity here and even share a piece of bread with each other. Neighboring provinces should urgently send bread and drinking water here.”

IHH’s mobile kitchen to arrive in Van on Monday evening

Güzel also said a mobile kitchen which will distribute hot meals to 10,000 people and a two aid trucks including warm clothes will be in Van on Monday evening. The distribution of hot meals to the quake victims is to begin on Monday evening. Güzel who noted that IHH’s medical teams reached the quake region on Sunday, added that a larger medical team will arrive in Van on Monday.

Source: IHH

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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