At least 50 villages hit by earthquake still isolated - VIDEO
25 October 2011
Survivors and BDP tell of poor help and lack of coordination
People in Erciş are struggling to come to term with what has happened on Sunday, when the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck. The area, near the border with Iran, is remote and mountainous, with long distances between villages and people who live off stock-raising, arable farming and trading.
Erciş has some 100,000 inhabitants. There at least 55 buildings crumpled, including a student dormitory. But at least 50 small villages have not yet been reached by aid workers.
Indeed the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) which is relentlessly helping since Sunday has exposed the government non readiness to face and respond quickly to such a disaster.
The Red Crescent has delivered 5,000 tents to Erciş alone and a tent city has been set up at Erciş stadium. But, Reuters reported that residents said tents were being given only to relatives of police and soldiers, a possible source of tension if confirmed.
"The villages have not received any help yet. Instead of making a show, politicians should be visiting them. The Turkish military says they sent soldiers, where are they?" said to Reuters a municipality official in Van who did not want to be named.
Ibrahim Baydar, a 40-year-old tradesman from Van, was quoted by Reuters as accusing the government in Ankara of holding back aid. "All the nylon tents are in the black market now. We cannot find any. People are queuing for them. No tents were given to us whatsoever."
Rescue efforts were hampered by power outages after the quake toppled electricity lines to towns and villages.
More than 200 aftershocks have jolted the region since the quake, lasting around 25 seconds, struck at 1041 GMT Sunday.
Major geological fault lines cross Turkey, where small tremors occur almost daily. Two large quakes in 1999 killed more than 20,000 people in the northwest.
(video from bdpsosyalmedia)
ANF / VAN
ANF NEWS AGENCY