High-magnitude earthquakes should be treated as global disaster

Has it not been enough that Turkey and Syria had to go through another set of crises with the 7.8 magnitudes of earthquakes? The recent earthquake that shook these two countries off its pedestal is one of the worst earthquakes of the 21st century. It was a compounded earthquake that was compounded by quakes of lesser magnitude and then followed by aftershocks. Till now the official estimate of deaths is at 17000 and the suffering ratio is said to be 2:1. While the number of injured people is said to be two times higher than the casualties and the loss of assets and properties is beyond calculation because everything is shattered to the ground. There are still people and animals trapped under the debris but the chances of the increasing rate of casualties is higher since there is no such real-time help on the ground. In such disasters every second is valuable. The survival of the people who are trapped depends on how quickly rescue and relief are offered to almost millions of people trapped under the debris of buildings. The vast land of the two countries has been hit hard by the earthquake. It is said that turkey is still able to manage the crisis but the condition ihas been suffering from a war-like condition for many years and on for many years and the country doesn’t have a stable economy. After losing their assets to the brutal and aerial attacks, many people and families of Syria moved to Northern Parts. With the help of technology, it is easier to map the areas of damage per square ft. But such information can only be useful if the rescue and relief teams are able to reach on time with the necessary men and materials. In any disaster management, timely help is of a crucial role in saving lives. India was the first one to respond to the appeal of the Iraq government and within no time, India sent its men specially trained in disaster management along with medicines and other essentials to Turkey. Turkish officials rightly pointed out that the word dost means the same’ friend’ in Hindi and Turkish. He further went on to say that a friend in need is a friend indeed and expressed immense thanks to the Indian government and PM Modi for sending quick help. While PM Modi showed his readiness in helping further as well. He responded by saying that in 2001 Gujrat was also famished to the ground and it taught us no matter how ahead we get with the advancement and technology, we cannot supersede nature. It is indeed very difficult to pick up and rebuild from scratch and seismic activity cannot be prevented despite scientific advancements. As a matter of fact, it is the Turkish who built Germany again after the Second World War. And now, Germany which is turkey’s next-door neighbor, and also other members of the European Union have come forward to help Syria and turkey. But being war-torn Syria is caught in a black hole. The condition in turkey is somewhat better than in Syria because it has a disaster management group that can be rushed for service. It has rescued more than 8000 people already. A rescue team from 65 countries was already working and the government had declared an emergency for three months. While Syria is in a tough boat and it’s racing against time as the death rate has crossed 16000 while WHO is estimating a death toll of 20000 people. In Syria coordination and relief management is a matter of concern as the country has a difficult relationship with most of its neighbors and the government has failed to reach everywhere. But that should not be the excuse to leave its people dying under the rubble at the mercy of nature. They need to be reached out to no matter how difficult it is. While turkey and Syria are disrupted nations but they need to be met with humanitarian causes by the world collectively. While the world is collectively trying to help both countries, the situation in Syria needs more careful handling. INAV


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Swarup Kalluri

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