EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN EASTERN ANATOLIA TURKEY.IT IS ESTIMATED THAT MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE DIED,6000 PEOPLE INJURED AND SCORES OF VILLAGES DESTROYED
A catastrophic earthquake at the magnitude of 7.2 hit Eastern Turkey on 13.41 (10.41 GMT)-24 October 2011.The epicenter of the earthquake was Ercis town ,30 km far from province capital Van,a city of 380000 inhabitants.The tremor rocked Van,Bitlis,Erzurum,Diyarbakır and even Duhok in Northern Iraq.
The tremendous earthquake destroyed Ercis town with a population of 78000 and devastated tens of villages around..89 villages are in an area of 30 km perimeter and there are fears that the death toll may be more.
Most of the buildings collapsed are multistore buildings with five to seven stores and with an average inhabitants of around 150 people.
In Van one hotel,the university hospital ,two dormitories are among the collapsed 30 multistore buildings.
In Ercis more than one hundred multistore buildings collapsed too.Two hotels,two student dormitories are among the collapsed.More than 60 percent of the buildings in the city are ruined or severely damaged.In the villages the catastrophe is more severe..Entire villages are swept of with huge human losses.Villages are mostly dealing with agriculture and livestock and they lost most of the livestock too.
Because at the first hours Van airport was closed due to slight damages on the runway rescue teams managed to arrive from neighbouring areas after 4-5 hours.There is a dramatic effort to rescue hundreds of people under the ruins.
The village of Tabanli was the epicenter .Alakoy,Iliklikaya and other villages around hit severely by the earthquake too.There are news from Bitlis city where tens of buildings including the state hospital are damaged too.Loss of lives in Bilis is small but material losses heavy.People in Van and the epicenter opf Ercis and villages have settled temporary makeshift tents to protect their families and for days and weeks they will stay out of their buildings because of the aftershocks and the tremendous damages in the buildings.Because it was Sunday most of the people were out of their buildings (the weather was good) The Prime Minsiter Erdogan arrived to Ercis in the afternoon and led the rescue Works personally fort he first day
The first official statement done by Satte Minister Sahin reported 217 death and 1090 injured only in Ercis and Van.Rescue workers are looking for around 500 people in Ercis under the ruins.The death toll in the villages is uncounted.
Turkish Red Crescent brought around 4000 tents and 22000 blankets to Van.Emergency relief delivery started and the mostly needed one is food and medicine.
The weatheris deterriorating and after Tuesday heavy rainings and snow will start.The temperatures are in average of minus 1 to 10 degrees Celcius and that makes difficult the inhabitants to stay out at night time especcialy
Temporary tent camps are under construction in Van,Ercis and two big villages Alakoy and Iliklikaya to accomodate the earthquake victims temporarily.
The region is mostly populated by Kurdisah community and is one of the poorest areas of Turkey.
In the same region Caldiran town a devastating earthquake in 1976 caused the death of 3491 people and injured more than 20000.
The area is one of the most earthquake prone areas of Turkey.
a.Food especcially bread and safe water
b.Baby food and milk
e.Heaters with wooden ovens
f.Plastic sheets and tarpaulins
IBC has a representative in Van and as he reports the city of Van,Ercis town and villages are in real chaos yet.People dont know where to stay,some doing makeshift shelters.Rescue workers arrived to the field but because of the heavy damage it looks difficult to have Access to all buildings and because of lack of electricity only generators are used for the rescue works.
Dramatic scenes he eyewitnessed around the dormitories where hundreds of children trapped under the ruins.Half of Van hospital is ruined and it makes difficult ro respond to the injured needs. He reports that the road from Van to Ercis is heavily destroyedin some areas and creates logistic problems.
The regional Crisis center is established and coordinates the rescue and distribution of relief.We believe that better coordination will be secured.Airport opened to traffic again and IBC relief team will arrive to Van on Tuesday or Wednesday depending to flights and roads condition..The response we are planning will be focused on Ercis town and Tabanli,Alakoy and Iliklikaya villages.
We launched a campaign to procure and deliver
a.Heaters with wooden oven.It is used mainly in the villages
e.Food packages and baby food.
In addition we are planning to start a hot meal kitchen as we did in Duzce after the devastating earthquake of 1999.
The kitchen will serve around 1000 victims daily in Ercis.
For long term response we are planning
a.To establish a psycosocial treatment center in Ercis
b.To reconstruct two-or three villages by organising the villagers on self-help housing program and construct around 500-600 village houses with places for livestock.semiprefabricated.
c.To provide with new livestock the villagers in order to secure their economic sustainability
d.To construct three or four health centers in the villages and provide health services for a specific period of time