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Urban search and rescue operations (USAR) in collapsed buildings after the 2023 earthquake in Türkiye

Pardo Ríos M, Morales Sánchez C, Parra Beneitez Y, López Guardiola P, Lanchares Ortiz A, Pedreño Rosique A, Roza Alonso C, Castro Delgado R

Gerencia de Urgencias y Emergencias Sanitarias 061 de la Región de Murcia, Spain. UCAM Universidad Católica de Murcia, Grupo de Investigación de Nuevas Tecnologías en Salud (NT4H), Murcia, España. ONGD Bomberos Unidos Sin Fronteras (BUSF), Spain. RINVEMERSEMES (Red de Investigación en Emergencias Prehospitalarias). 5SUAP del Almonte, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Huelva, Spain. Servicio de Salud del Principado de Asturias (SAMU-Asturias), Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias (Grupo de Investigación en Asistencia Prehospitalaria y Desastres), Spain. Departamento de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.

The earthquakes that occurred in February 2023 in Türkiye had some of the worst consequences of recent years. The Turkish authorities first deployed local resources and then appealed for international help. The International Search and Rescue Group of the United Nations aims to establish minimum international standards for search and rescue teams and a methodology for coordinating responses to earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. A main concern of the group is to coordinate operations on the ground. This article offers perspectives on the epidemiology of earthquakes, the management of emergency response teams and Türkiye’s disaster management agency (AFAD); it also explains how rescues are carried out in collapsed buildings. The experience of Firefighters Without Borders after the recent earthquakes and a rescue that took 14 hours are also described.

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