Turkiye earthquake: ‘We thought it was the apocalypse’
Tulin Akkaya had just started to gather her thoughts after being woken by the biggest earthquake to strike Turkiye in nearly a century when a second massive jolt sent her scrambling for safety on the street.
Around her southeast city of Diyarbakir, which is home to many of the millions of people who have fled war and poverty in neighboring Syria, buildings were in ruins.
In the wake of the 7.8-magnitude pre-dawn quake, the same crescendo of destruction spread across the major cities that run along the border between the two countries.
Over 1,500 deaths have been reported all together, according to officials.
Akkaya was trying to piece together what was left of her life when a second jolt shook her house and sent her fleeing from her apartment. It was certain that it would grow, and Akkaya fled.
I’m so afraid. Because I live on the top floor, I felt the aftershock so strongly,” the 30-something housewife stated.
In a state of panic, we ran outside. It was nearly identical to the morning earthquake. I don’t know what will happen next, so I can’t go back to my apartment now.
“Apocalypse” The aftershock had a magnitude of 7.5, which is about the size that, according to scientists, only happens about once every 20 years.
The magnitude of the challenge that rescuers and recovery workers in both Turkey and Syria face is exemplified by the fact that two earthquakes of that magnitude struck the same remote and largely undeveloped region in such short order.
Within the first ten hours after the initial disaster, officials counted more than fifty aftershocks. They warned that more would continue to rumble for a number of days.
Diyarbakir and other nearby cities, like Kahramanmaras, saw damaged buildings crumble as a result of the unrelenting shackling.
The second major blow came just as the survivors were returning to their apartments to retrieve items that might help them get through the chilly night ahead.
The majority of the region is without power and gas. Sleet and rain were forecast for much of the remaining week in southeastern Turkey, according to the weather service.
Melisa Salman, a reporter based in Kahramanmaras, stated, “I am used to being shaken because I live in an earthquake zone.”
The 23-year-old told AFP, “But that was the first time we have ever experienced anything like that.”
“We thought it was the end of the world.”
There were some glimmers of hope and joy when the child was rescued alive.
The news that a child had been rescued alive from beneath enormous slabs of concrete debris periodically lit up Turkish television and social media on Monday.
On NTV television, a young girl by the name of Zehra was shown being wrapped in a wool blanket and placed in the back of a waiting sedan. Zehra appeared slightly dazed and asked for her father.
The crowd then dispersed to look for additional survivors as the medical vehicle left through the snow-covered street.
In his predominantly Kurdish city, the 35-year-old was among the first to arrive at the scene of the first large building collapse.
Aktemur recalled, “We managed to save three people, but two of them were dead.” I can’t go anywhere after the second earthquake. I believe they will once more require my assistance.