site.btaThousands Face Another Night in the Open in Quake-Hit Nurdagi
Tens of thousands of people will spend yet another night in the open in the heavily hit by the earthquake in Nurdagi, Gaziantep province in Southern Turkiye.
The town with a population of 40,000 is just 20 km away from Pazarcik, the epicenter of Monday’s devastating earthquakes with magnitudes up to 7.7 on the Riechter scale.
The local residents, including families with young children, as well as elderly, will spend the cold February night in their cars, in tents or in the open, wrapped only in blankets.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has organized several tent camps.
People have lit fires to keep warm in many places in the devastated city. Local authorities are supplying the destitute with firewood, but many are also burning car tyres. Red Crescent teams are distributing water, sandwiches and soup. The water supply has been cut off.
The situation in Nurdaghi is extremely grave. Most of the buildings in the city collapsed in the quakes and those that are still standing have huge cracks and are expected to do so.
Rescue teams continued to search for survivors all Wednesday but no information for people discovered alive has been received by the evening. At this point only the bodies of many dead have been recovered.
A volunteer helping out in the rescue operations told BTA that seven or eight people had been saved the previous day. Another volunteer, who had lost a relative in the earthquake, added that the dead would probably number some 3,000.
Numerous ambulances drive around the city all day and all night, the wail of their sirens is almost incessant. Many hearses can also be seen.
Heavy-duty machinery is clearing the debris from the collapsed buildings, resulting in a constant haze of smoke and dust.
As night falls bringing in subzero temperatures, hopes of finding survivors diminish even further.