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After devastating earthquakes, Turkey struggles to dispose of rubble

After devastating earthquakes, Turkey struggles to dispose of rubble

Antakaya/ Turkey: Still reeling under the shock of the deadliest earthquake in its modern history, Turkey now faces another crisis: disposing of hundreds of millions of tonnes of rubble after the disaster. Some of the debris is potentially harmful too, report Reuters.

The earthquakes and aftershocks that shook Turkey and Syria razed down at least 1,56,000 buildings completely in the former. Some among them were damaged to the extent that they required to be demolished too. The result was 116- 210 million tonnes of rubble. It is equivalent to an area of 100 square km if it were stacked to the height of 1 metre, the UN Development Program (UNDP).

UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton said that the scope of the challenge in clearing the rubble is beyond comprehension. UNDP stated that the disaster generated ten times more rubble than the 1999 earthquake in the country, which was the next largest disaster here.

Most of the rubble removed so far is kept in temporary dumps, and those are at risk of contamination. The fears are that older buildings could contain asbestos which is carcinogenic and is banned in many countries.

However, the environment ministry assured that dust-suppressing systems are being deployed to prevent harmful substances such as asbestos from circulating. But Reuters’ reports say that the measures are not followed at all places where debris is being cleared.

Also, the agency noticed that dumbing was done in forest areas, which is unadvisable since dumping without decomposing or neutralising wastes would cause environmental disasters.

President Tayyib Erdogan had promised that his government would rebuild all the homes in a year, but experts suggest that safety must be the first priority over speed. Turkey is expected to go for elections on May 14.

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TAGS:Turkeycrisisearthquakesrubble disposal
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