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Istanbul Earthquake Expected to Affect 40 Million People
IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation held a press conference on the anniversary of the February 6 earthquakes. IHH President Bülent Yıldırım stated, "An expected earthquake in the Marmara region could affect 40 million people. I call on all NGOs. We need to give special importance to search and rescue operations. If such an earthquake occurs in the Marmara region, it will have a greater impact than the earthquake that occurred on February 6."
06.02.2024

The press conference took place at the IHH Emre Yerli Disaster Management and Logistics Center in Tuzla.

Yıldırım reminded that 13 million people were affected by the February 6 earthquakes. "Immediately after the February 6 earthquake, we took action and started search and rescue operations. We worked in close coordination with government institutions and NGOs. Our coordination centers in Reyhanlı and Kilis also conducted their operations. During these operations, not only our search and rescue teams, but also over 10,000 volunteers working in emergency aid, food, and shelter areas participated. Our people embraced the citizens affected by the earthquake. You cannot find such a mechanism anywhere else in the world, a great movement of kindness emerged among the people."

We need to give special importance to search and rescue operations.

Yıldırım stated that they have trained nearly 8,000 search and rescue personnel so far and said, "An expected earthquake in the Marmara region could affect 40 million people. I call on all NGOs. We need to give special importance to search and rescue operations. The presence of these search and rescue teams in all provinces is very important. If such an earthquake occurs in the Marmara region, it will have a greater impact than the February 6 earthquake. All teachers and imams should receive training on what to do in such a situation, just like first aid training, it should be provided as 'first rescue training.' A security unit that works in coordination with the police and military should be established within AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) to prevent well-intentioned individuals as well as malicious individuals from reaching the disaster-stricken areas," he said.

 

Yıldırım mentioned about IHH-affiliated logistics centers, that they are established in locations with the least possibility of being affected in case of a disaster. Yıldırım said, "We plan our work in a way that can quickly mobilize our colleagues, especially those outside of Istanbul."

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We worked in coordination with AFAD.

Ömer Kars, a member of the IHH Board of Directors responsible for Disaster Management, stated that they worked in coordination with AFAD's crisis management centers in the provinces from the first hours of the February 6 earthquake. Kars said, "Our teams, consisting of 2,156 search and rescue personnel, 3 search dogs, 241 vehicles, and 38 teams' equipment and materials, participated in search and rescue operations in a total of 8 provinces, namely Adana, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Malatya, and Şanlıurfa. A total of 3,278 people were rescued by IHH Search and Rescue Teams from the rubble, either deceased or injured."

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We have 18 accredited teams.

Kars stated that IHH currently has 3,687 search and rescue volunteers in 77 teams nationwide and said, "We have 18 accredited teams with a total of 656 personnel and volunteers, including 1 heavy, 2 medium, and 15 light teams that have completed AFAD's National Accreditation. 34 teams are still continuing their accreditation preparations. We have 3 Disaster Management and Coordination Centers in Istanbul, Bursa, and Konya. In our logistics service group, we have 20 accredited personnel and a total of 6 logistics depots, including 2 in Istanbul, and 1 each in Konya, Bursa, Kilis, and Reyhanlı. The IHH Emre Yerli Disaster Management and Logistics Center, where we are currently located, was established to coordinate the necessary work for Istanbul in the event of a disaster."

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After the press conference, a tour was conducted at the IHH Emre Yerli Disaster Management and Logistics Center, and the teams provided information about their work. The search and rescue dogs affiliated with IHH also conducted a search exercise with their trainers.

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