The work of rescuers in Antakya is complicated by looting and the lack of functional toilets

The work of rescuers in Antakya is complicated by looting and the lack of functional toilets

The work of rescuers in Antakya is complicated by looting and the lack of functional ch toilets

Debris of collapsed buildings in an earthquake in the Turkish city of Antakya, February 11, 2023.

Ankara – To volunteers trying to search for survivors in the earthquake-hit Turkish in the city of Antakya, looting complicates the work, but also the lack of functional toilets. This was written by Reuters today, citing several rescue workers.

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Twenty-six-year-old Mehmet Bok, who is trying to find a colleague in a collapsed building in Antakya, told the agency that he saw the looting in the first days after the devastating earthquake, before he went to the countryside for a few days. People were breaking the windows of shops and cars, described the man, who then returned to the city and his quest to find a colleague.

Rescue worker Gizem also saw the looting in Antakya. “We can't intervene too much because most of the looters have knives. Today they caught one looter, people chased him,” said a woman who comes from Sanliurfa province.

At the same time, according to Reuters, the number of police and soldiers has been increased in the city , who drive traffic, help rescuers and distribute food.

Gizem described Antakya as a place of death and destruction. “We couldn't hold back the tears,” she described her feelings after arriving in the city four days ago. “If people here don't die under the rubble, they'll die of injuries, and if they don't, they'll die of infection. There's no toilet here. It's a big problem,” she said, adding that there aren't enough body bags in the city.

“Bodies are all over the streets with nothing but blankets on them,” she described. At the same time, according to Reuters, residents of the city wear masks so that they don't smell so much death.

Other volunteers also complain about the insufficient number of functional toilets. “I think right now hygiene supplies are most needed. We have problems with toilets, I'm afraid some disease will spread,” said the man, who declined to give his name and who came from Antalya to help with rescue operations.

There were long queues for makeshift portable toilets, but many people confided they were simply looking for a place to hide, leading to complaints of smell, Reuters reports.

Security in the quake-hit area got into the spotlight after the Austrian army and German rescue organizations suspended work there today. They justified this by the “increasingly difficult security situation” and concerns about the safety of rescue workers. Meanwhile, according to the APA agency, the members of the Austrian specialized unit partially resumed the rescue work in the afternoon. They are protected by the Turkish army.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today that the government will take strong action against people involved in looting and other crimes in places hit by a devastating earthquake in Turkey this week. In recent days, Erdogan and the Turkish authorities have repeatedly faced criticism for insufficiently fast and high-quality aid.