No More Place Like Home

Two earthquakes hit Turkey in less then 24 hours.

Emma Phillips, Sports Editor

Freezing temperatures caused not one but two powerful striking earthquakes that ended up killing more than 5,000 people in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Aid workers from around the world have flown into Turkey to support the injured after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Monday morning and was followed by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake just that afternoon. This led to a three month state emergency in the affected areas that was issued by Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

After buildings crumbled to the ground, houses and shops destroyed, rescuers in Turkey dug through massive piles of rubble, finding people trapped under and stuck after buildings collapsed. Each day finding more people trapped and more casualties. Crowds of volunteers from other countries gathered at the Istanbul airport to send help with first aid responders to help the injured people. In some areas, civilians clawed through rubble with their bare hands to reach their kids and loved ones screaming from beneath the debris. The survivors were pulled from under the collapsed buildings overnight. 

“The scale of the earthquake of course makes us take certain extraordinary measures. We will be completing all the necessary procedures and formalities very fast.” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday in a televised address. Children and babies, Mothers and Fathers, Grandfathers and Grandmothers trapped for more than 29 hours under the rubble. Roads look like collapsed highways, cold temperatures make the rescue operations harder. Heavy snowstorms hit parts of both countries right before the earthquake hit, and the temperatures dropped below freezing overnight with more snow and freezing rain. Tuesday morning right after the collapse, 21° being the highest reached temperature.

Turkish Agriculture and Forest Minister Vahit Kirisci said Tuesday that search and rescue teams were struggling to reach victims, with airport runways too damaged to land, buildings collapsed to pieces. 

“We took off from Ankara to go to Hatay, but we were forced to land in Adana and reach Hatay by road,” he said at a news conference. 

More than 67 countries have offered aid. Teams from Germany, Slovakia and Russia have arrived in the southern city of Adana, which is turning into a logistics hub for international rescue efforts. They were fanning out to the worst-hit areas, while victims from those areas were being sent to other cities. The authorities are also working to restore power in places where the earthquake had damaged infrastructure. Power was out for days in several places. 

The quakes were Turkey’s worst seismic event in decades. Rocking an area around Gaziantep that is home to millions of Turkish citizens, displaced Syrians and refugees.Time is only running out and hundreds are still trapped under the rubble. Every second could mean saving a life. They need your help.