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 Cold weather triggers tough choices for Turkish quake survivors

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PostSubject: Cold weather triggers tough choices for Turkish quake survivors   Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:28 am

Ismail Kaya, 28, suffered a cracked rib as he wrestled a tent away from a crowd at one of the frenzied distribution points where the Turkish Red Crescent was handing out supplies to earthquake victims this week.

Survivors of the 7.2 magnitude quake on Sunday have been growing more desperate in recent days, faced with a difficult choice about where to sleep: inside buildings that may collapse, or outside in the cold.

Mr. Kaya says he’s reluctant about the first option, with deep cracks in his discount jerseys house and aftershocks still shaking the earth. His cousin has already died in a heap of rubble. But he does not feel certain that the fabric walls of his hard-won tent will be enough to keep his 10-month-old son alive as the temperature drops.

“We don’t know how we will survive the winter,” Mr. Kaya said.

Rain turned to snow in the ruined city of Ercis on early Friday morning; the dusting of white vanished as the day warmed up, but the threat of bad weather has added urgency to the task of distributing tents and temporary shelters. The local governor estimates that 600,000 people nfl jerseys cheap were “affected” by the tremors, which roughly matches independent estimates that 60 to 70 per cent of the structures in this part of eastern Turkey have been damaged.

The demand from freshly homeless people far outstrips the supply of shelter. Turkey initially rejected help from other countries in the first days of the disaster, but the housing problem has forced it to accept even the most unlikely benefactors, such as Israel, despite frosty relations between the two countries.

Turkish officials emphasize that no country in the world has jerseys wholesale enough emergency tents to care for so many people; they say that Iran has the world’s biggest stockpile, with perhaps 70,000, and Turkey comes second with 50,000 tents in storage – but only 30,000 of them could be mobilized.

Flights leaving eastern Turkey are packed natywith women and children, heading west to spend time with relatives as their men stay behind to guard against looters and make repairs.

Many villagers cannot afford to escape, however. The earthquake killed more than 500 people in the first day, but some aid groups are predicting another wave of fatalities as the winter cold takes its toll.

“Of course we will have more deaths,” said Osman Atalay, a board member of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom, a prominent charity group. “The cold weather is a big risk, especially for the children and the elderly.”

The grim mood was occasionally lightened by the surprising steelers jerseys cheap discovery of survivors among the ruins.

On Thursday evening, a team of diggers from Azerbaijan broke into the basement of the five-storey apartment block and lifted out Imdat Padak, 18, who had been trapped in the boiler room. As he emerged from the wreckage, Mr. Padak told rescue crews that he had heard cries for help elsewhere in the warren of crumbled rooms, but had not heard any such hopeful sounds in recent days.

In another neighbourhood, under floodlights in the early morning darkness of Friday morning, a Turkish crew heard stirrings of life on their seismic instruments. They cracked into the second storey of a building that had collapsed like a stack of pancakes and found a dark cavity where cheap nfl jerseys Ferhat Tokay, 13, was curled into the fetal position. He had survived more than 100 hours underground.

“The first thing he said was, ‘I’m hungry and thirsty,’ ” said Iklime Bingili, 38, a professional rescue trainer whose team discovered the boy. “He was talking too much, actually. We kept interrupting him, telling him to save his energy.”

The boy was given oxygen and an intravenous drip, wrapped in blankets, and whisked away to hospital on a helicopter. Somebody shouted: “God is great.”
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