Vivid News 24: The early-morning Monday earthquake that shook Turkey and Syria is still coming to light, but it is already known to have been one of the deadliest in recent memory, killing thousands of people. A 7.8-magnitude temblor is exceptionally strong, and its damage is increased when it occurs at a shallow depth and is followed by another significant shock.
However, even when a disaster is caused by a natural occurrence, human behavior before, during, and after the disaster shapes its impact just as much as the event itself does. Almost often, those who are weak and vulnerable are disproportionately impacted.
Pictures and video evidence the horrible devastation caused on the Turkish side of the border, which presently has the greatest death toll. The situation of survivors has gotten worse due to bitter winter storms. Some of the 4 million Syrians who escaped the fighting may perish; many of them have been residing in southern Turkey, frequently in overcrowded conditions.
There are even more people in northern Syria, where the war has traumatized the populace and destroyed houses and crucial infrastructure. Idlib, which is controlled by rebels, is now home to millions of people, the majority of whom rely on aid. Then came the Covid-19 epidemic and a cholera outbreak, which Idlib’s flimsy health system is battling to control despite being purposefully targeted by airstrikes.
The hardship has worsened as a result of fuel shortages and price increases. Those struggling with subzero temperatures and insufficient food are currently without even temporary housing. This is “a crisis within numerous crises,” as the International Rescue Committee has cautioned.
Turkey faces a significant obstacle. Due to its history of earthquakes, it does so with the assistance of 45 different countries and skilled and seasoned rescue personnel. Rescue and relief operations will be far more difficult on the Syrian side of the border. It will probably be difficult diplomatically and logistically to assist.
Its White Helmets have had to hone their skills at pulling victims from the rubble. However, they are in dire need of fuel, spare parts, and search and rescue equipment. The group also encouraged the international community to put pressure on Moscow, which supports Bashar al-administration, Assad’s to refrain from attacks.
Although the situation in Syria has lost most of the world’s focus, there are concerns that the complex regional conflict in the north will worsen. This fight pits the regime against rebels, as well as Turkey against Kurdish groups and Israel against Iranian-linked targets. Thankfully, the deadline for the mandated cross-border supplies to Syria via Turkey has been extended to July.
However, Damascus currently only permits entry through one border post. In this hour of utter need, it would be immoral if the others stayed shut. Even if the regime is mostly to blame for the misery of its people, more needs to be done. The situation would worsen if Ankara’s efforts to hasten the return of Syrian refugees continued.
Less than half of the $4 billion needed for the humanitarian response plan for Syria has been given, the lowest amount since the conflict started. Now more than ever, there is a need. It will be extremely challenging to make sure that relief reaches the neediest. However, every effort needs to be taken. If the failures of the international community were to make this catastrophe worse, it would be awful and shameful.