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Prof. Dr. Mehmet Eryılmaz Answered Questions

Association of Researches on Disaster President Prof. Dr. Mehmet Eryılmaz made statements about health organizations in earthquake regions as a guest on the NTV & Star TV joint broadcast last night.

Eryılmaz answered the question regarding the physical safety of people: “Until now, none of the measures in the existing literature have found sufficient options for people to stand in such a building collapse. If there were, all the literature and all educational sciences would give it. None of the measures such as the triangle of life, get next to a chair, under a table, have any taught reality. In other words, when you feel that terrible oscillation of the earth and the earth under that earthquake, you lose your position in space neurologically, you reflexively look for a place to hold on. The level of consciousness that an earthquake that finds you in your bed at half past four in the morning will awaken in you, and where you will protect yourself by having that level of consciousness is entirely up to reflex and chance.”

Another question that the program host Mesut Yar asked Eryılmaz: “What exactly is the step that people should take in the earthquake disaster, which has become the first place on Türkiye’s agenda among disasters?”

Eryılmaz: “The experience of 1999 in Türkiye brought us to an awareness of these disaster potentials. All academics, bureaucrats and citizens said: “This land, this geography is an earthquake geography.” But as you said, earthquake is one of the most common potentials in Türkiye. Not every earthquake is fatal, not every earthquake creates a disaster. Or, we know very well that an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 does not cause a disaster in Japan. The point here is that we have made a classification of all disaster potentials in Türkiye. The most common natural event is ‘flood’ in Türkiye. The potential that people face the most. Last year we saw a fire in the summer. Traffic accidents, high temperatures due to all kinds of climate change. There are options in an endless line like this, all options that can create disaster potential in Türkiye. When you come to Türkiye, there is an earthquake in the first place because its lethality is very high. We lose the people we lost in the earthquake due to blunt trauma. What does blunt trauma mean, concrete blocks are falling on you and you are crushed, or head trauma, extremity trauma; your limbs, arms, feet are crushed and broken. Your chest is crushing. Now here is the reality, with the reality we live today, we lost 30,000 citizens as of this evening. There are 80,000 injured and beyond that there are 100,000-150,000 internal migrations. There are other health problems that these will bring. First, what we need to determine right now is the large-volume healthcare need in the middle. We need a long road here. Not for a day, for a week, for two weeks. Post-traumatic stress disorder has reflections not only on earthquake survivors but also on us who are distant people. Today, Mineral Research and Exploration General Directorate (MTA) announced: There are 485 active faults over 5.5 in our country, what more are we waiting for. When you look at our reality, in Türkiye we have to take them in front of us somehow.”

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