India's First International News Journal

22.1 C
Friday, March 24, 2023

How Russian rescuers and medics lifted Turkey earthquake victims from the abyss – Reuters

Let’s take a quick look at the plan first. This place was an 8 story building. An entrance, with lift, parking and shops on the ground floor. Living room, dining room, bedroom and children’s room. Now a pile of rubble.

  • There are no survivors here. The dog twice showed us what it was, we fought for two days, drilled tunnels, – Tumanov drops words sparingly. – When they were found, people were dead. A lingering characteristic smell has already left the rubble. We see the same image everywhere: people are lying on their beds, squeezed by a concrete slab, because everything happened at 4 am.

6 rescue teams have arrived in Turkey with trained dogs of the Malinois breed – a type of Belgian sheepdog. One works on corpses, the rest – on the living. Don’t be surprised – they train separately, they have different drive technologies. Border guards have theirs, customs officers have theirs, and we have to search for the living and search for the dead.

In this installation, nine people clear the rubble: eight rescuers and a doctor. In total, there are about 200 Russian specialists from the Emergency Situations Ministry in Turkey, but the work is complicated by the ongoing aftershocks. Equipment – drills, hydraulic jacks, a tool for cutting reinforcement and spreading fragments of concrete slabs – they brought with them from Russia. The Turkish side provides cranes and excavators. Guys come with “acoustics”. Bring with you an emergency rescue tool for search and rescue operations: endoscopes, acoustic search devices, ground-penetrating radars. There are motion sensors, mini cameras, thermal imagers and night vision devices. They allow you to detect a person in the blockage up to 4.5 meters deep! If the instruments show one live, the assault group will go further. Rescuers begin to break through concrete and rebar.

Drones also help. In the event of significant destruction, reconnaissance and surveillance are carried out from the air.

Russian rescuers are the only ones working around the clock.

We have three shifts of eight hours each. Nobody else does it, nobody works at night and we work 24 hours a day. As long as there is hope, we dig.

Locals hug rescuers, thank them and try to heal them, bring delicious cakes or fruit.

Motion detectors, mini-cameras, thermal cameras, night vision devices help detect a person in a blockage up to 4.5 meters deep!

In the rubble, I see the police. What are they doing here?

“Today we found a large sum of money,” says Tumanov. – First, my guys came and brought a tablet, in which there was a bundle of dollars. They immediately went to the base and called the police. The police came quickly, we handed everything over to them. Exhale, dig deeper. And then 150,000 dollars are tightly folded into bundles and covered with an enamel lid. None of the rescuers saw this money. There are weapons, gold and diamonds. Of course, we call the police.

Already a few hours after the first shocks, a special plane with Russian rescuers delivered an airmobile hospital to the disaster area. He landed at the very epicenter of the earthquake – in Kahramanmarash. Initially, they wanted to place the medical module in a local hospital, but the building tilted and threatened to collapse. With difficulty, they found the only flat ground in the whole city. Inflatable pneumoframe modules were installed in it – they are mounted on supports, and the internal atmospheric pressure of 0.2 atm allows it to withstand heavy loads.

40 employees of the airmobile hospital – medical personnel and engineers, supplying the modules with electricity, heat and water. They have great experience in Syria, China and even in the arctic at minus 50 degrees. The hospital operates 24 hours a day in two shifts: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.

“Only yesterday, 166 people were taken care of during the day, 33 other wounded were brought to us at night,” explains Artem Rogozhnikov, deputy head of the Centrospas detachment of the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The hospital can operate in absolutely autonomous mode: with fuel for 10 days, food and emergency generators.

The doors of traumatology, or rather of the tent module, open. He has everything, including an X-ray machine. Patient: 37-year-old male with multiple fractures. A team of traumatologists performs immobilization using plaster splints, it is necessary to ensure complete immobility. Now the main thing is to stabilize the patient’s condition, and then discharge him.

Who will take them and where? The victims will be sent to the nearest hospitals, which the Turkish Ministry of Health has indicated to our rescuers. For example, Kahramanmaras University Hospital, which survived the earthquake, is a 15-minute drive away. From one to eight hours – this is how much time Russian doctors have for one person, while the Turks decide where to transport the wounded.

Intensive care unit. The monitoring device beeps, the artificial lung ventilation pump breathes.

  • This is our intensive care unit. Here are people suffering from fainting, myocardial infarction. If you need something urgent, we as part of the central air ambulance with our mobile equipment and with the patient can fly anywhere! By car, helicopter or plane, – explains the doctor, resuscitator-anesthesiologist of the Federal Center for Disaster Medicine named after Pirogov Alexei Zavalsky.

In the next module – a pediatrician and a therapist. There is an ECG machine and an ultrasound machine. Many victims suffering from hypothermia. And, of course, old wounds and chronic illnesses got worse in people under stress. In the tent, as in a good hospital – medical couches with clean linen, bright lighting, work monitors, a set of medicines. The Turks come here as in their hospital.

Everything is calculated up to a meter and up to a minute, everything is convenient and at your fingertips. Each doctor has their own translator and volunteer, many of whom are familiar with medical terms. Interpretation is simultaneous, one might say perfect, in person and over the telephone.

Volunteer Olga Shantina leaned on the table to rest for a minute. She was born in Alma-Ata, moved from Kazakhstan to Turkey 25 years ago. She lives here in Gaziantep, her apartment was also damaged by the earthquake. Olga left the children with a friend in a one-story private house for safety. They called from the Russian consulate and invited me to work as an interpreter. She’s been there since day one and still is.

  • I translate from Turkish into Russian. Grandma fell alone last night, came to us – they sewed her hand. The day before yesterday, an 11-month-old baby was admitted with thermal burns, poured hot tea near the fire. Two legs were feasted on him. The little children are still dug up under the rocks…

Those who work on the rubble also have wounded, they are taken to the Russians. And the day before, an accident happened near the hospital – the victims were also brought here to the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

For latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and also on Twitter.
Click here to show your support.
News Room
News Room
The Eastern Herald’s Editorial Board validates, writes, and publishes the stories under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on

Public Reaction



Read More