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Among the desperate displaced people of Adana: "We have lost everything"


THE REPORTAGE | In the city of over two million inhabitants, between collapsed houses and buildings, dead friends and relatives. "We will go away" (ANSA)

   "That was my bedroom."

She is in tears.

She is 9 years old and points to a huge pile of rubble with a bulldozer on it which she continues to dig.

The little girl has just ripped her pink blanket out of the mountain of debris.

She saw it emerge from the rubble and could not resist but her gesture worries the rescuers who kindly ask her to leave the area, in the district most affected by the earthquake in Adana, a city inhabited by over 2 million people in the south east of Turkey.

    The local civil protection teams have been working continuously for almost 24 hours.

The 14-story building where Esra lived did not collapse with the first quake of magnitude 7.9 on the night of February 6.

It crumbled a few hours later, during the day, around 1 pm, when a second earthquake hit southeastern Anatolia, shaking even Adana.

At that moment 12 people were inside the building.

    They had returned to retrieve some clothes from their apartments to spend the night in elsewhere because, after the earthquake, their homes were declared uninhabitable like dozens and dozens of other 15-storey buildings in the area which, according to the locals , have only been built in the last 15 or 20 years.

Two of these have completely collapsed, while others show serious damage to the structure.

    During the night, three people were pulled alive from that pile of rubble, after being buried there for almost 10 hours.

There is no sign of the other nine and rescuers do not have much hope.

They could also be among the victims of the most violent earthquake faced by Turkey in the last 20 years, after the one that hit the province east of Istanbul in 1999, killing almost 20 thousand people.

The February 6 earthquake is not only "one of the greatest disasters" for Turkey but for world history, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today, announcing a three-month state of emergency in the 10 provinces affected by the earthquake while the victims reached over 4,000 in Turkey alone.

A budget destined to increase.

    The Adana hospital in the Cukurova district is very crowded, at the entrance to the emergency room there is a couple in their thirties, the girl is in tears.

"We are about to go to the funeral of our aunt who lost her life in the earthquake," says the boy without explaining why they are there while the security personnel intimate that it is not possible to do interviews.

"We have nothing left and therefore nothing left to lose, which is why we decided to move elsewhere. We still don't have a precise plan but with my family we are sure that we won't stay in Adana for more than another 48 hours".

    Alper Aslan is a 45-year-old former sports journalist and for the last two days he has slept in the car with his family because his house completely collapsed in the earthquake.

"I have not only lost my home, I have also lost dear friends in this tragedy," he says while drinking tea seated in a restaurant with a steel and wood structure, one of the many places chosen by the municipality where displaced people can find a warm place to stay and free food.

"It was a minute and a half of terror, psychologically and physically devastating," he says with a tense look, remembering the moment of the shock.

"The blow was very strong, everyone was asleep, as soon as I became aware of the situation I immediately took the girls out", says Bekir Buker, a 40-year-old quality control officer at a fruit and vegetable distribution.

He too is in the same restaurant with the other displaced persons.

At his side, his daughters sometimes cry while his wife suddenly faints and faints: she will recover shortly after thanks to the help of the other people in the room.

"It's terrible, we can't go home because it's unusable, we don't have our things and we can't even go back to get them, let's wait and see what happens tomorrow", he says with his eyes wide, circled by the dark circles of someone who hasn't slept for two days .  

Source: ansa

All life articles on 2023-02-07

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