Pivotal infrastructure, along with ancient monuments, lay disintegrated in major Turkish cities as witnessed in recently captured high-resolution satellite imagery.
New Delhi,UPDATED: Feb 8, 2023 19:31 IST
Kahramanmaras stadium has been turned into a relief center for helping Turkey earthquake victims (Credit: Planet Labs PBC/India Today)
By Dipti Yadav, Devvrat Pandey: New high-resolution satellite pictures of earthquake-hit Turkey show the enormous scale of devastation as well as the ongoing rescue operations currently under place. The 7.5 magnitude earthquake, including the aftershocks, caused havoc in Turkey and parts of Syria on February 6.
The epicentre of the first tremor is situated at Nurdagi in the Gaziantep province of Turkey. With the collective death toll crossing 11,000 in both countries, rescue teams from different countries, including India, have arrived with medical and other aid.
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Satellite pictures provided by US-based space firm Planet Labs in the aftermath of February 7 tremors show ravaged infrastructure across the city of Kahramanmaras.
The before and after pictures of the Kahramanmaras stadium unravel its transformation into a safe haven for the calamity victims by establishing a cluster of relief camps providing them with necessary humanitarian support.
India Today also analysed satellite pictures captured by another space technology company Maxar Technologies. Similar destruction could also be witnessed in the cities of Islahiya and Nurdagi.
The situation has become grimmer for the civil war-affected Syrian state with the death toll rising above 2,000. The disaster has affected both government and opposition-controlled areas. It has “compounded misery in a country where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in a conflict that began in 2011 when protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule were met with a deadly crackdown”, news agency Reuters reported.
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Amidst the chaos, 20 detainees associated with the ISIS have fled the Aswad prison of Raju town as per the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) sources. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India has sent over 6 tonnes of emergency relief assistance to Syria, which includes 3 truck-loads of protective gear, emergency use medicines, ECG machines and other medical items.
Keeping in view the upsurge in casualties in Turkey, India has sent multiple rescue teams with relief materials. “Indian National Disaster Response Force teams have now reached Gaziantep and commenced search and rescue operations,” said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
Thought-provoking images captured by photojournalists on the ground of innocent civilians, specifically children, have made the world rethink on government’s urban planning in seismically active zones.
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Haphazard construction of high-rise buildings on a landmass already situated at the juncture of four major tectonic plates is being mentioned as one of the reasons for the uncalled calamity which has turned to rubble the historically significant monuments of the region in a wink.
Frank Hoogerbeets, a researcher working at Netherlands-based Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS), had predicted the disaster beforehand on February 3 in a tweet suggesting an earthquake of similar magnitude in this region.