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Civilians of Turkey and Syria carry on the strength after massive earthquake
February 10, 2023
Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”
– Walter Elliot
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake had struck throughout Turkey and Syria early into the morning of Monday, February 6. More than 21,000 deaths have been recorded, with 78,124 injuries accounted for. The earthquake was said to have been one of the strongest to have faced the region in more than 100 years. Thousands of buildings throughout the countries have been damaged or completely collapsed, also impacted from the recent brutal weather, with thousands of citizens displaced.
Rescuers are all throughout the region, searching for survivors. Though the challenge is aggregated as temperatures are getting increasingly colder. Many individuals or families having been able to survive the massive earthquake have been displaced in their own countries and the colder weather becomes arduous for these displaced people who are living outside for the time being.
Earthquakes come and go quickly, but often are succeeded by numerous aftershocks. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that take place around the same area where the major earthquake had hit. So far, the U.S. Geological Survey has recorded around a hundred aftershocks in the area.
Alarming news only makes us sympathize for the fear and terror many in this region are going through. Children have been separated from the mothers, mothers have been separated from their children, fathers weep over their families bodies crushed under the rubble and the hours continue piling up as the days pass by.
The two countries have been severely impacted by the earthquake, with more than 23 million people estimated to be affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The death toll keeps rising in both countries and is expected to keep rising as more bodies are being uncovered from the rubble. Hope has passed through people’s faces, leaving their skin flushed, cold to the touch. Hope has left their bodies, that had once been engulfed in the warmth and cheerfulness they felt from hugs of past loved ones. Eyes will never look, nor see the same; grief begins to overtake every sense and thought in their body, as desperation settles in.
Even through all the darkness, people unite for the greater good of their country. The World Health Organization has spread its response teams throughout the two countries as diseases already prevalent will be exacerbated from the major earthquake. The U.S. military has also sent Turkey two of their civilian urban search and rescue teams to assist in the rescue of civilians still trapped beneath the rubble. The European Union has also worked around setting up funds for Turkey and Syria in this crisis.
Countries around the world have come flocking to the aid of Turkey and Syria during this time. France had made a donation of 12 million euros to those affected severely by the earthquake in these countries. The United Kingdom had also given 3 million pounds to fund the White Helmets in their mission of rescuing civilians in northwest Syria. The United States is later expected to supply $85 million to the humanitarian assistance.
Another main issue circling around has been with Syria and the lack of assistance they have been receiving. The current political situations in Syria and Turkey is remarkably contrasting. Syria has been swept up from a prolonged civil war that has terrorized many civilians in these borders as tensions grow between opposition forces and the Syrian government. President Bashar al-Assad, leader for the Syrian government, has been accused of the death of his people, sparking much unanticipated help from the government.
Within the Syrian borders, the White Helmet has been the main group of rescuers throughout this tragedy. The group is also known as “Syria Civil Defense,” and are a group of volunteers working to “provide aid in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake.” It seems as if the White Helmets are the glue that holds the entire morale of the country together, rescuing adults, children and even newborn babies that had been left in an impending state of doom as they are slowly crushed by the rubble.
The strength and persistent morale of the two countries has sparked for perspectives on the country to evolve. Turkey and Syria are no different from many countries surfacing the globe. The morale showcased within these countries makes those think of Ukraine where Ukrainians are fighting for the future they had long awaited for, and even the United States of America and the pride and joy we hold when we represent our country. We must not be different from the White Helmets in Syria, who are risking their lives so as to save more, to provide for the civilians even when the government won’t; we must learn from their example.
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