To The Unhonored Victims

Turkey Earthquake Victims

Author: Myrto Varela

The more you look into it, the sadder it gets. To think that both the recent railway accident and the Turkish earthquakes took the lives of many animals as well. Many people have already written articles about the humans that died. But what about the animals? There are several interesting stories regarding the pets that traveled on the unfortunate intercity 62 train, the most interesting of all being the story of a dog who unknowingly saved his owners. 

A couple with their dog had booked a ticket for the first train car, but because of the dog and the crowd, they were asked to move to the eighth wagon of the train. Afterward, the accident happened, and everyone in the first passenger car died while the eighth wagon remained intact. Another story is the story of a little Jack Russell Terrier that was found alive while his owner was found dead right next to him. But the story that shocked the media the most was the story of an actress and her blind cat Nabia. Nabia was found dead a few days after the accident while her owner was still missing. The next day the corpse of the actress was identified as well.    

While the investigations into this terrible railway accident continue, we shouldn’t forget the victims of another tragedy as well: The Turkey Earthquakes. The most honored οf the overall 10,000 victims is the rescue dog Proteo who died searching for survivors. But there also are many pets that survived for more than two weeks under the rubble despite suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, injuries, and infections. And the moment that the rescue teams reunite them with their worried owners is the most touching of all. There are several organizations we should be thanking for these rescues, such as PETA, Humane Society International, and Turkey Animal Save, among other organizations. 

How To Prevent Suffering

Over 60 people lost their lives because some people are oblivious, irresponsible, and reckless. It’s only tragic to consider that 60 young people who could have done something with their lives and contributed significantly to our world just passed away from one moment to the next. All their dreams and their ambitions just vaporized. So the most important thing to do in order to prevent it from happening again is to understand what happened and whose fault it was. The causing mistake was made by the untrained station manager, who mistakenly put a passenger train to the dissenting line and let it collide with a commercial train. But more thorough investigations revealed that a series of irregularities went down in this station and perhaps many other stations in the country. Firstly, since he wasn’t experienced, he shouldn’t be left alone, and actually, he most certainly shouldn’t lead one of the biggest stations in the country by himself. Secondly, after putting the train on the wrong track, he had the opportunity to recognize his mistake for five minutes. But where was he these five minutes? Why didn’t he answer the driver’s phone calls?     

This research also revealed that there were two books in this station regarding its shifts. An actual one that showed how rotten and unorganized our railway system is, and another that was meant to fool the officers that everything in the station is working properly. There are so many tragic stories caused by this event. The one that touched me the most is the story of a prisoner whose son was a train driver and died in the accident. But the most frustrating and disappointing of all is that political parties are trying to take advantage of the situation by participating in the demonstrations as groups and not as individuals in order to “hunt” votes for the upcoming elections. It’s very unethical on their behalf to attempt to profit from this tragedy by pretending to be merciful and compassionate. In my opinion, we are all responsible for this, but most of all, we should blame the government for not taking our safety seriously.

Regarding earthquakes, even though there have been a few successful attempts to predict the precise location of an earthquake, scientists say that humans will probably never be able to estimate when the quake will strike and in what magnitude. So the only solution that we have left is to apply anti-seismic building. According to Japanese architects, the most crucial factor of an earthquake-proof structure is a steel frame in the core. Another important thing is to build the construction on flexible pads that will be the only ones to move if an earthquake hits. Last but not least, there should be vibrational control devices to eliminate the damage. 

These simple and basically easily meant things are neglected by many nations, and, as realized, this is a critical mistake. Many lives were lost, both human and animals in these tragedies.

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