Time is running out for survivors trapped under mountains of rubble from thousands of collapsed buildings in Turkey and Syria. Rescue teams are overwhelmed, leading civilians to try to rescue the trapped people, despite having no means.
The death toll is dizzying: there are already more than 7,200 deaths, 5,400 of them in Turkey, where there are also more than 31,700 injured, according to official data.
Erdogan declares three months of state of emergency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in the ten affected provinces. The continuous aftershocks and low temperatures are making rescue work very difficult.
Dilek Gül, a euronews journalist, is in the town of Hatay. “All the buildings to my left and right have collapsed. The civilians here are trying to save the people who are trapped in the rubble,” he tells us.
“I have been asking for a bulldozer since day one. I came down from the 5th floor. I asked for a bulldozer to save my brother. No one answered my calls. bled to death“, a woman recounted through tears.
“Look, it’s Nevran’s skirt, my daughter’s skirt,” she adds, holding up a piece of cloth recovered from the rubble.
_”_Yesterday there were two children here and one there, that we saved”explains another Hatay resident, who says that the rescue teams did not arrive “until Monday night, but most of them do not have equipment. They are here, they do what they can, but it is not enough. There are still 10 people under the rubble. There are still 10 people below, and they are most likely still alive.”
The scenes of anguish are repeated in a country that has not experienced a similar tragedy since 1999.