Search-and-rescue personnel working in the Van earthquake zone have decried their â€œprimitiveâ€ working conditions and lack of technical equipment as they try and reach survivors from the eastern provinceâ€™s devastating temblor.
â€œWe are working with primitive tools, we have no equipment,â€ one rescuer told the HÃ¼rriyet Daily News.
Emergency personnel said they heard cries for help coming from under a collapsed building this morning and started to work on the wreckage to reach the survivors. The cries had stopped at around noon, they said, adding that they had to dig out the dead bodies of quake victims.
â€œWe canâ€™t get to survivors fast enough,â€ one rescue team member said.
The spirit among rescuers is noticeably low, and some members could only weep in frustration at the situation.
There is a device to find people under rubble, rescuers said, but added that they only had one of the devices in the district of ErciÅŸ, which was worst hit by the Oct. 23 quake. â€œWe yell into collapsed buildings, asking if anybody is there,â€ a rescue team member said.
Only one food distribution point was set up in ErciÅŸ and there was a significant lack of supplies and equipment. No new aid truck or supplies arrived for the hours that the HÃ¼rriyet Daily News was in ErciÅŸ.
Banks, hospitals and stores were all damaged or destroyed in the quake but there have been no reports of looting as people have continued to walk around ErciÅŸ in shock.
Many survivors said the only thing they wanted was some bread.
All but one of the homes in the nearby Yedikonak village was flattened in the quake.