A Turkish village destroyed by the earthquake: ‘No tents, no shelter, solely sleeping vehicles’

From our particular correspondents in Atalar – Greater than 72 hours after the catastrophic earthquakes that swept by southern Turkey, the residents of Atalar, a mountainous village west of Gaziantep, are nonetheless ready for support to succeed in them, they usually can solely take their vehicles to shelter them from these bitter circumstances. chilly.

“We now have nowhere to go. It is chilly. We’re freezing.” A shivering girl in a puffer jacket, a scarf wrapped round her head, a lady sitting on a pile of pebbles, crying softly. The mountain of rubble at her ft marks the place her home as soon as stood.

Like many others right here in Atalar, the girl and her household have been left homeless since lethal earthquakes devastated southern Turkey and neighboring Syria earlier than daybreak on Monday.

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“We got here out within the chilly with our 4 youngsters, and we had nothing left,” she says. Her village, about 30 kilometers from Gaziantep, is the place the primary short-term tents for the homeless are being erected. However right here there may be none.

“We now have no information of our family members, everyone seems to be useless,” the girl cried, her voice stifled with emotion. “God assist Turkey and its individuals. I’ve no phrases. God assist us!”

‘The federal government did nothing’ On this mountain farmer’s village, the violence of the earthquakes tore the delicate buildings product of brick blocks aside. In ascending alleys lined in icy snow, ruined homes reveal the intimacy of those that reside there: bedrooms large open, furnishings cracked on the ground, garments strewn about, animals roaming amidst the destroy.

Right here and there, residents comb the rubble attempting to recuperate what they will. The ladies kind by damaged dishes, often letting out plaintive groans, their faces symbolizing despair.

An earthquake-damaged home within the village of Atalar. © Assiya Hamza, JowharA few steps away, volunteers are busy distributing sizzling meals ready by residents of a close-by village who had been higher off within the earthquake, in an effort to offer a little bit consolation to those that have misplaced every little thing.

“The federal government hasn’t completed something,” says Okech, a neighborhood in his fifties, sighing amongst piles of noodles and soup. “They nonetheless have not come right here. No tents, no shelter. Individuals sleep of their vehicles.”

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Within the aftermath of the earthquakes, the individuals of Atalar had been compelled to search for survivors with out ready for assist. “We pulled many our bodies out of the rubble,” Okech says. Individuals had been buried there for 2 days. Two days with out meals or drink.

‘Give solely to the needy’ Whereas there may be nonetheless no signal of tent camps being arrange in different quake-stricken areas, at the very least the individuals of this village obtain assist from a truckload of legs, water and different requirements. When one made a stand, he was rapidly surrounded by a determined crowd.

The truck carrying meals, garments and blankets is emptied inside seconds. © Asia Hamza, France 24 “Just one bag per individual!” He shouts a volunteer as he arms out baggage of bread, telling his fellow employees to make sure they’re evenly distributed. “If somebody comes again for extra, say no,” he provides. “Give solely to these in want.”

Inside seconds, the truck is totally emptied – proof of the overwhelming wants of the earthquake-stricken inhabitants satisfied it has been deserted to its destiny.

This text has been translated from the unique textual content into French.

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