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As time passed and the number of dead and survivors of the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and whose effects spread to Syria, hundreds of thousands of people in these two countries were left homeless after their homes were destroyed and reduced in rubble… and razed to the ground. the terrain.
And even those whose houses have not been demolished sleep in the open and in theirs auto for fear of the rather large aftershocks that hit the region after the devastating earthquake.
What makes matters worse is the cold, snowy weather, which disrupts relief efforts and can cause the deaths of many, especially earthquake survivors.
On Thursday morning, the temperature dropped early in the Turkish city of Gaziantep to minus five degrees.
We are not psychologically prepared.
Despite the cold, thousands of families who survived the violent earthquake that hit Turkey are still sleeping in auto And in tent for fear of returning to their homes or because they were prevented from doing so.
Some families bring their children wrapped up in blankets to protect them from the extreme cold in the streets of Gaziantep, the city near the epicenter of the earthquake that hit the country last Monday, killing more than 17,500 in Turkey and surrounding Syria.
“By the time we sit down, the situation is dire and I fear for everyone who is still trapped under the rubble,” said Malik Halegy, as he watched rescuers continue working late into the night. “Eventually we will go in curtain, but I don’t want to, I can’t stand the cold, just as I can’t stand the idea of going back to our apartment,” she added, squeezing her two-year-old daughter in her arms.
And the city authorities have banned thousands of residents from returning to their buildings, deemed dangerous due to the aftershocks that hit the area every day.
“Our Children Feel the Ice”
Some survivors have taken refuge with neighbors or relatives, while others have fled the area, but many have nowhere to go.
Gymnasiums, mosques, schools and shops have hosted them for the night, but beds continue to be scarce and in thousands spend the nights in auto with the engine running to warm up.
“I have no choice, but we can’t go home,” admitted Suleiman Yanek, sitting in his car with a child playing on the steering wheel while his wife slept with their second child in the backseat.
Burhan Chadash sleeps in his auto since Monday, as his family is not “psychologically” ready to go home. When asked how many nights they would spend outdoors, the man who runs a restaurant said he didn’t know, but he doubted his family’s ability to survive that long.
Many criticize the government’s handling of the bailouts. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visiting the region on Wednesday, acknowledged the existence of “gaps”, but stressed the extent of the disaster, which puts in trouble any government.
And near the 6th-century Gaziantep Castle, which was badly damaged in the earthquake, destitute families complain that the authorities have not provided them with any help.
The survivors made makeshift shelters out of tarps and planks thrown by others. “They could have at least provided us with tents,” said Ahmed Hussein, in his 40s.
“Our children feel the snow. We had to burn the seats in the house and even some of the children’s clothes. We had nothing else,” said the father of five, whose home was almost completely destroyed in the earthquake.
Amal Othman, a 14-year-old boy whose family fled Syria in Turkey seven years ago said the authorities should put up tents, “at least for the sake of the children”.
Despite the risk of stones falling from the castle onto the park where the families are, the refugees say they have no choice because they have no auto and nowhere else to go.
Since dawn last Monday, while rescuers in Turkey and Syria, today, Thursday, in extremely cold weather, continue their efforts to search for survivors under the rubble, with the possibility of saving them in decrease, 3 days after the earthquake that killed more than 18,000 people in both countries, amid official warnings that the number will rise.
Rescuers are still finding more survivors under the rubble, though hope is fading, as rescuers work in a race against time to extract potential survivors trapped under the rubble of thousands of buildings collapsed by the earthquake.
In Turkey, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority has announced in earlier that the death toll from the earthquake had risen to over 14,350, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll from the earthquake in Syria had risen to over 3,555.
More than 65,000 people were injured in Turkey and more than 6,000 in Syria, due to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.