While the death toll is still expected to continue to increase on the 15th day after the earthquakes that caused such great destruction in ten provinces in southeast Turkey, the coordinating governor of the severely damaged Nurdağı district in Gaziantep province admitted on Sunday that the state response had indeed been late, remarking that the actual situation in the earthquake region is far worse than statements reflect.
“The situation is at least 3, 4, maybe 5 times worse than the figures announced show. We will completely demolish some cities and build new ones,” said the governor of Şırnak, Osman Bilgin, who was appointed coordinator of the Nurdağı district after the earthquakes, adding that nearly 150 dead were found under the rubble of some collapsed buildings.
Bilgin noted that the authorities had decided to demolish some of the districts, including Nurdağı, completely.
“Cities have been deleted from the map, there will be new maps,” said the governor.
Since the first day after the earthquake, the Turkish government has been the subject of nationwide protests from the public due to the late and arrival of rescue teams and insufficient aid to the disaster zone. While there were reports that some districts are still waiting for official help, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the situation was under control from the second day, though he admitted there had been some problems on the first day.
According to official records, 41,020 people have lost their lives in the disaster so far. Since 6 February, more than 6,000 aftershocks have occurred in the region.