Two major earthquakes in Kahramanmaras caused unprecedented destruction in our country. Thousands of our people died in cities that turned into a heap of ruins. This great disaster also showed how unprepared we are for an earthquake, even though we are an earthquake nation. In the 10 provinces affected by the earthquake, many regions failed to intervene in time and aid could not be delivered. On the other hand, transport and communication could not be provided in the earthquake area, there were looting and security problems. The earthquake caused not only painful destruction, but also great chaos throughout Turkey. Many questions arose in different areas, such as how strong an earthquake could be. Here are the 7 most frequently asked questions after the earthquake…
1. Why was it too late to intervene?
After two strong earthquakes in Kahramanmaras, it was too late to intervene in the earthquake zones, especially in the first three days. It is because of this that many of our people, who were waiting for rescue under the rubble, died. Well, why was it impossible to intervene in the earthquake zone in time?
This difficult question was recently answered by the most authoritative person – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan stated this in his statement in Adiyaman, one of the cities where great destruction occurred as a result of the earthquake.It is a fact that we cannot accelerate the intervention at the desired speed.” used phrases. Erdogan’s statement on this matter.”Unfortunately, our work was very difficult, as the destructive effect of the earthquake spread over an area of 500 kilometers. The fact that the region is experiencing a severe winter that we have not experienced in the near future has become another obstacle in front of us.‘ continued his words.
According to AFAD President Yunus Sezer, the size of the area affected by the earthquake and winter conditions were the main reasons why the region failed to intervene in a timely manner. In his statement, Caesar said:In responding to the earthquake zone, we faced two important obstacles. First, very unfavorable winter conditions. Winter conditions hampered both ground and air transport. Helicopters and planes could not take off. Ground transportation experienced problems on many roads and bridges due to the effects of the earthquake. When a disaster occurs in a province, a team is known to go there in neighboring provinces. The earthquake affected such a vast area that both the team in 5 provinces, which was supposed to provide first aid, and the team in the next 5 provinces were affected by the earthquake.…” He said.
2. Why was it impossible to take pictures from the UAV and SİHA?
It was extremely important to obtain images of the destruction caused by earthquakes, to determine the extent of destruction and to what extent it occurred in which regions, to intervene in the region and send search and rescue operations. For this reason, the use of instruments that allow viewing the earthquake zone from the air was of great importance. However, it was not possible to use UAVs and SİHA in this direction. Why, on the other hand, has become one of the most curious questions since the earthquake.
AFAD President Yunus Sezer answered this question:Due to unfavorable weather conditions, there were no flights during a certain period. Since the UAV and SİHA could not fly, we did not have the opportunity to take pictures. AFAD, the security services and the gendarmerie have cloud-based surveillance systems. We were able to photograph in them during certain periods when the weather cleared up and we discovered the destruction. The first two days were extremely unfavorable weather conditions. We fought the weather.” he replied.
3. When was the international call for help made?
After the earthquake, serious problems arose in search and rescue and rescue operations. It was stated that especially in some areas of the disaster, the number of search and rescue teams was extremely insufficient, but many rescue teams were deprived of the necessary materials. In addition, foreign detachments participating in search and rescue operations also saved the lives of many of our citizens under the rubble. Accordingly, the question of when the international appeal for help was made came to the fore.
Yunus Sezer, in his statement on this matter, used the following statements:15 minutes after the earthquake, we organized a crisis table and gathered at the AFAD headquarters. We tried to determine the scope of the event, a brief assessment was made. We determined the magnitude of the earthquake and declared it a Level 4 Natural Disaster in just 1 hour, and also stated that we are open to international assistance. It emphasizes that a Tier 1 province should use its own resources, a Tier 2 province should use regional capacity, a Tier 3 province should use national capacity, and a Tier 4 province should use both national and international assistance. When we saw the magnitude of the earthquake, we immediately declared a Level 4 catastrophe.”
4. Why is there chaos during caregiving?
The earthquake caused unprecedented destruction in our country. But at the same time, an atmosphere of solidarity rare in the world was created. The whole of Turkey is mobilized to help the earthquake region and heal the wounds of the earthquake victims a little. On the other hand, among the news from the region there is information that during the relief activities there was a great chaos. In some earthquake-affected areas, even the most basic life supplies cannot be delivered, while in some areas relief supplies are becoming redundant and wasted. So, what caused this environment of chaos to arise?
Firstly, individual vehicles create a serious transport and transport problem. For this reason, restrictions were imposed on the entry of vehicles into the region on an individual basis. Help that is not coordinated and directed by crisis services unfortunately becomes useless. Please do not send separate grants to the region and act in accordance with the lists of needs published by AFAD and non-governmental organizations in the region.
In short, the main causes of aid chaos are the lack of coordination between regions and the lack of organization, logistics and other problems caused by individual assistance, unusable roads in the region, severe winter conditions and many other problems. other factors.
5. Why couldn’t communication be provided in the region, why couldn’t companies provide GSM services?
After the earthquake, there were big problems in the areas of communication and communication. For this reason, many of our people under the rubble could not be delivered during the most critical hours of rescue operations. The GSM companies Turkcell, Türk Telekom and Vodafone, which have more than 11 million mobile subscribers in the earthquake zone, were unable to install mobile and backup communication systems of sufficient capacity in the earthquake zone, although this is expressly stated in the relevant regulations.
Following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck off the coast of Silivri on September 26, 2019, the networks of the three GSM operators were down for several hours and it was decided that the GSM companies would install a common and free line in order to avoid a greater risk of natural disasters. . At that time, the line, which was supposed to be built in 3-6 months, was not installed, despite the past 3 years. However, the Regulation on Disaster and Emergency Response Services clearly states the responsibility of operators as follows: “Mobile and fixed operators are responsible for complying with requests received and ensuring that mobile and backup communication systems of sufficient capacity are promptly installed in the event of a natural disaster. disasters. region”.
However, after the earthquake, Elon Musk’s proposal to provide internet via Starlink satellites was rejected on the grounds that Türksat had sufficient bandwidth. Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said that with the launch of the Türksat 5B satellite in December 2021, it will be possible to provide Internet services at a speed of 56 Gbps. However, this technology could not be used in a seismic zone.
In the aftermath of the great disaster, some videos, especially shared on social media, intensify the pain and anger caused by the earthquake. Because the relevant images show that both some scientists and various NGOs have given serious warnings about a strong earthquake that could occur in Kahramanmaras. However, it is known that the Kahramanmarash Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Plan was prepared by AFAD itself for 2020. So what warnings were included in the plan?
The Kahramanmaras Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Plan describes Pazardzhik as an “active earthquake zone”. The report also shows that “a scenario of an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 in Kahramanmarash” has been prepared. The scenario mentions major earthquakes that have affected the city in the past, the length of the fault, major earthquakes that may affect the city in the future, and many other important issues. Remarkably, however, the reportIt is predicted that in the event of a possible strong earthquake, most of the city will be affected.» statements included. In the same report for Pazardzhik, the epicenter of the earthquake, “In the event of a possible strong earthquake in the area where the Kartalka HPP is located, it is predicted that the earthquake will affect almost the entire region.” expressions are used.
7. Could declaring a state of emergency in cities affected by an earthquake cause elections not to be held?
As you know, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that after a natural disaster in 10 cities affected by the earthquake, a state of emergency was declared. After this statement, one of the questions was the question of whether and when the presidential elections, which were previously scheduled for May 14, will take place.
The lawyers’ answer to this question is very clear: “There can be no question of holding or postponing elections, except in case of war.” Yekta Gungor Ozden, former President of the Constitutional Court, said:No, this cannot be. It doesn’t matter if the choice is made or not. A state of emergency can always be declared with justification, but it cannot be that the elections are postponed or not held. There is still time to officially announce when the elections will take place. There is no clear clause that elections are not held legally.” uses expressions. Former member of the Council for Higher Education Prof. Dr. Necmi Yuzbasioglu, on the other hand, states that “the declaration of a state of emergency cannot be a reason for postponing elections in accordance with the constitution.”
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