Earthquakes in Turkey-Syria: Terror after Richter murders in Sanliurfa- Over 1,000 injured in the city

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Sanliurfa, one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey, was rocked by the powerful earthquake that caused untold destruction in the region and in neighboring Syria.

An endless line of cars has formed on a boulevard as families look for an escape route. On the sidewalk, a family moves through the sleet, with their belongings, whatever was saved, in a small cart. They are looking for a shelter to spend the night.

Sanliurfa, one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey, was rocked by the powerful earthquake that caused untold destruction in the region and in neighboring Syria.

In this province, at least 30 people lost their lives and more than 1,000 were injured. About 200 buildings collapsed.

After night fell, on one of the city’s main avenues, dozens of rescuers were still trying to locate and pull survivors from the rubble of a seven-story building, of which nothing was left standing.

“There is a family I know here,” Omer El Tsunaid, a 20-year-old Syrian student who lives nearby and went to help rescuers with three friends, told AFP. “Until 11-12 noon, my friend answered the phone, now she doesn’t answer anymore. It’s down here. It probably doesn’t have a battery anymore”, the young man wants to believe.

Across from him, a gutted sofa, a chair with twisted metal legs, torn curtains blowing through the rubble…

Dozens of residents silently watch the rescue operation. Rescue crews require absolute silence to hear the voices of the trapped.

Omer and his friends will stay there all night, they don’t care about the rain and the cold. “I have an obligation,” explains the young man.

We will stay here

Five minutes away, Emin Katsmaz sits in front of the furniture store he owns, along with his three employees.

They wrapped themselves in blankets and lit a fire to keep warm. One of the store’s windows was broken and the merchant is afraid that thieves will break in.

One of the pillars of the seven-story building is cracked, and Katzmaz knows they’re not safe there, but he doesn’t care. “We’ll stay here all night, it’s our bread and butter,” he says.

A short distance away, in a parking lot on the same avenue, a family has squeezed into a white car. Mustafa Koyuntzu, 55 years old, his wife and their five children.

“We are waiting here because we cannot go back to our house, it is currently forbidden,” Mustafa said.

If they are not allowed to return home, they will sleep in a neighborhood mosque that has been turned into a shelter for the homeless.

“But our building is safe,” says the father, though his older daughter disagrees: “No, it’s not!”

Mustafa reassures her, but he himself is afraid of another big earthquake. “Who is not afraid? Everyone is afraid!” he says.

RES-EMP

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