Turkey: Disaster zone quake rattles confidence, topples buildings

By November 11, 2011

Turkey (MNN) — A second quake struck eastern Turkey late
Wednesday night, leveling two more hotels that had survived the October 23rd quake.

Rescue workers searched Thursday for survivors amidst the
rubble. At least eight people, including
a Japanese aid worker, were killed in the new quake. 

Wednesday's magnitude 5.7 quake knocked down 25 buildings in
Van. The two hotels were the only occupied buildings because the others had
been evacuated after the first temblor. Aid workers and journalists
were among the guests in the hotels, trapped in a grim replay of the earlier

Angry residents protested in front of the rubble, claiming
authorities should have closed the hotels because of the damage they sustained
in the earlier quake. Riot police were
called in to subdue the crowds.

Against this backdrop
of confusion, Baptist Global Response teams were working. BGR's Pat Melancon says their crisis teams have been "responding ever since the first quake. They have actually only temporarily left
for a few days and now are returning. They had planned to return prior to the
second quake that occurred in Turkey."

With the new crisis, the teams will continue on the same
course of action they've been on, helping new survivors. "It entails trying to provide temporary
shelter for those who, because their houses have been damaged, don't feel that
it's safe for them to move back into their homes," says Melancon. "It also entails doing food
distribution, trying to provide blankets, and keeping people warm."

There have been roughly 1,400 measured aftershocks since Oct. 23. Many
residents had been living in tents despite the cold, too afraid to return home. They are now joined by the survivors of
Wednesday's quake. That, of course, means stretching resources. "Until folks can re-establish a sense of
normalcy, it will require, of course, additional funds for us to give them
food, give them more shelter, and also provide as much warmth as we

Another complication in providing food aid is that hoarding
has begun. Local supplies are not
readily available, so food and other emergency aid have to be purchased
elsewhere and transported into the quake zone. That requires more time, money, and manpower.

The BGR team has been working non-stop since October 23. While they are totally focused on being the
living Gospel, "It's very discouraging once you've rebuilt your house,
picked up the debris  and you've begun to
put your house back together for a second earthquake to occur. Then suddenly,
all the progress you've made has just been reversed," says Melancon.

Pray. Melancon says, "People
are very shaken. We have a number of believers who are trying to help them work
through and process what's happened to them and how their lives have

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