site.btaAnguish and Hope in Besni More than 100 Hours after Quakes
People in the southeastern Turkish town of Besni are in anguish over the death and destruction caused by the February 6 earthquakes but the hope that more survivors can still be found more than 100 hours after the tremors still lingers.
A large-scale search and rescue operation is underway across the town with the participation of Bulgarian firefighters and Polish rescuers.
The Bulgarian team found a 5-year-old alive in the rubble on Thursday.
The plight of people and work of rescuers is made harder by the harsh weather: the temperatures drop to minus 10 C during the night.
People lit fires in the street to keep themselves warm in the freezing February temperatures. They are gathered in groups by the rubble of residential buildings hoping that the rescuers can help their loved ones - and pray as they wait.
Charities have set up food spots in town and offer free food to everybody.
When somebody hears a noise from underneath the rubble, the rescuers shout orders to the machines to stop and the bystanders to keep silent. These meager noises are a glimmer of hope for local people, rescuers and reporters who are desperate for news of survival.
Peter Petrov, who heads the Bulgarian team for search and rescue in an urban environment, told BTA that it is not impossible to find survivors even over 100 hours after the first magnitude 7.7 quake in Kahramanmaras.
He said that he had expected the situation in Turkiye to be dramatic but was totally unprepared for the magnitude of the real situation. The freezing whether makes the rescue operations even more difficult as does darkness during the night.
The Bulgarian rescuers in Kahramanmaras found five survivors in the ruins of two buildings on Friday.