Week After Turkey-Syria Earthquake, Relief Efforts Are Stymied

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Ms. Omac and her children had left their apartment during the earthquake in their pajamas. “I try to find clothes from there,” she said, pointing toward a pile of clothes on the pavement, the remnants of some aid that had reached the city.

Across the street, workers searched for bodies in the rubble, their hopes of finding survivors dimming so long after the building fell. Ms. Omac, 38, said she had relatives under the debris: a niece and nephew of her husband. She was waiting for the rescuers to pull their relatives out, alive or dead.

Turkey’s national emergency management agency, AFAD, has distributed a huge quantity of tents — with the help of more than 238,000 relief workers — but the sheer scale of the disaster has meant many still lack shelter.

Many people cobbled debris together to erect what they could: One family, numbering about a dozen, built a shelter of cardboard and tarp over a flatbed truck, with blankets and thin mattresses in the beds.

The Turkish Red Crescent, a humanitarian group, said it was speeding up the production of tents to house people after Turkish news media reported a shortage of temporary housing and poor sanitary conditions for the homeless.

Though the authorities occasionally reported a harrowing rescue — like Istanbul’s mayor celebrating the escape of a woman after 175 hours underneath rubble — fewer and fewer survivors were found on Monday. In Turkey and Syria, aid workers largely turned their attention toward the people without food, medicine and homes. In both countries, bad weather and damaged roads have slowed the flow of aid.

Martin Griffiths, the top humanitarian chief at the United Nations, said on Monday that the window for rescuing people from the rubble was “coming to a close,” and that the focus was moving to providing homes, food, schooling and psychological care to victims.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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