Middle East

“We are racing with time”: Rescue workers and survivors face freezing conditions in Turkey and Syria

Isil Sariyuce

Rescue efforts are growing “harder” due to bitterly cold weather in Turkey and Syria, experts warned, while workers have not been able to access all the disaster areas — raising fears for many trapped under rubble

cold and wet weather system moving through the region has seen temperatures plummet below freezing, jeopardizing the search for survivors on both sides of the border.

“It’s the cold but also the time passing… When it is cold, it affects the rescue efforts even more,” Oxfam’s spokesperson in Turkey, Meryem Aslan, told CNN’s John Vause.
“On top of the weather, there are still areas where people are trying to dig by their hands. Rescue teams have not been able to reach everywhere yet. It’s extremely, extremely difficult. We are racing with time.”

Cold weather ahead: Temperatures are already bitterly low, but are forecast to fall several degrees below zero on Wednesday.

Central Turkey is at its “coldest point” for this time of the year, CNN’s senior meteorologist Britley Ritz said.

Meanwhile, in Aleppo, Syria, temperatures are expected to stay at zero or below.

Scattered showers and snow in the region are expected to continue, putting the lives of those trapped underneath the rubble, who have already gone days without food and water, at risk of hypothermia.

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