Death Toll Increases after Two Consecutive Avalanches in Turkey

Bettina Sanford, Staff Writer

Devastating avalanche killed 33 individuals and buried dozens of rescuers in Turkey. A major rescue operation is in motion after two consecutive avalanches hit the same spot in East Turkey. The second wave trapped rescue workers sent to deal with the effects of the first wave. It was reported that rescue workers were sent to recover two missing people after an avalanche washed over a minibus and a snow plow near the city of Van. After they arrived at the scene another fatal avalanche hit, killing 33 and injuring more than 53. Authorities have been notified of the second hit and suspect a third avalanche is looming. Overall there have been 153 search and rescue personnel, 28 ambulances and 17 rescue vehicles sent to the region for assistance. Among the rescued was the Chief of the Van City Rescue Workers (AFAD) association, Osman Ucar. He is currently being hospitalized for his injuries. The AFAD made a statement regarding the situation confirming that the “avalanche hit for the second time in 24 hours between Bahçesaray and Çatak districts.” More information regarding this event can be found on ABC news’ website.