After an earthquake, silence is key to finding survivors

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After an earthquake, silence is key to finding survivors

ADANA, Turkey ( Associated Press) – Huge concrete blocks are being lifted with massive cranes and rubble being pulverized with jackhammers. Then they pause.

All are silent.

The silence is crucial for detecting even the slightest sound indicating the presence of a living person beneath the rubble generated by Monday’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Amidst the ruins of a 14-story building in the Turkish city of Adana, a whistle rang out from time to time: a request for silence to see if anyone made a sound through the rubble. The hundreds of people in the venue immediately fell silent.

At one point, volunteer Bekir Baiser discovered a crushed bird cage. Inside was a blue and yellow bird, which was still alive after about 60 hours.

“I was so happy I almost cried,” Beiser said. “The cage was damaged, but the bird was still alive inside.”

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Relatives and friends of the trapped people sat around the bonfire, hoping for a miracle even as the chances of someone surviving were slim.

Suat Yarkan, 50, said her aunt and her two daughters live in an apartment on the fourth floor of the building. They were probably sleeping in the apartment when the earthquake struck. Yarken clung to the hope that he could be saved.

“Look What Happened to the Bird: 60 Hours. It makes me think that maybe God is with us… I have to think that he will save them all,” he said.

In such cases it is necessary to pause for silence, said David Alexander, professor of emergency planning at University College London.

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“Sometimes helicopters fly over the area, making tremendous noise and raising dust while rescuers are trying to listen for any sounds that indicate there is someone alive under the rubble,” Alexander explained.

Rescuers use advanced microphones capable of detecting the smallest sounds, trained dogs capable of detecting heat between bent pieces of metal and concrete, and fiber-optic cameras. But given the need to move quickly and the limited number of first responders deployed across a vast area, the cry for help is vital.

“If a person is able to attract attention from within the ruins, they are three times more likely to be saved than if they were in a coma,” Alexander said.

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As the sun set for a third time on devastated cities in Turkey and Syria on Wednesday, efforts to find survivors became more urgent as time passed and the likelihood that any survivors would survive their injuries, Will die from cold or because of lack. of water and food.

“The first 72 hours are considered critical, as the condition of trapped and injured people can rapidly deteriorate and become fatal if they are not rescued and receive timely medical attention,” said Steven, a natural hazards expert at the University of California Godby said. Trent, England.

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Correspondents Suzanne Fraser in Ankara, Frank Jordan in Berlin and Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless in London contributed to this story.

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