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Earthquake in Turkey and Syria 

Earthquake & Devastated

Türkiye, Earthquake & Devastation

❘ Gulgun Gunal ❘ 07 February 2023 at 00:02

We often struggle to express our feelings. Even though a person tells about the intensity of the experience at that moment, one cannot express the feeling enough. I was so shaken today; and even if it is not enough, I can only share my pain with words.


A 7.7 magnitude earthquake1 

Then another earthquake of magnitude 7.62

I woke up as usual and looked at the headlines. First, I read the news about the earthquake in Syria. I was so sad! The fact that a country that has been living with war for years also facing natural disasters was the end of words for me. Then, as I continued reading, I learned that the earthquake was centered in Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş, with a magnitude of 7.7, affected 10 cities in Turkey. We have a saying: Fire burns where it falls! I am devastated! While I was still traumatized by the Marmara earthquake of ’99, I was devastated that my country was destroyed by two big earthquakes on the same day, causing destruction in a large region. Being far away, not being able to help, helplessness, longing, mixed emotions… What can I do?!

Then the numbers started coming in; the dead, the injured, the demolished buildings… Everything turns into numbers, while people are still under the destroyed buildings… The images are coming… Should I not look at them, not watch the news, and skip social media so as not to feel sad?! No. A psychologist advises us on social media not to look at distressing videos…

As the day ends, bad news starts coming from the people close to my friends. Those trapped under the rubble, those whose houses were destroyed. As I said “the fire burns where it falls”. Would I feel the same way if this earthquake had happened in another part of the world? To be honest, the answer is “no”. Of course, I would feel sorry, and if there was anything I could do to help, I would. But, when your own house burns, it burns in your heart and it hurts a lot. 



In a news program on TV, an expert says that the first 72 hours are very important and then after five days the chance of survival is 2% for those under the rubble. I think everyone living in an earthquake zone like Turkey knows this.  So why am I still hearing from my friends that they still can’t reach the areas most affected by the earthquake? They talk about disinformation, they say it should be prevented… Don’t trust every news, the authorities say. I think those in power, especially the president, should visit the earthquake zone. He should be able to embrace the survivors and make urgent interventions in those regions. He should accept and organize aid from other countries. Yes, I have to say that I don’t think any country can overcome a disaster of this magnitude. But some of the officials are very empathetic, they can be in the region instantly.

It’s cold, rainy and snowy in the earthquake zone! Thousands of people are under the rubble. Thousands of people want to hear from their families and loved ones. Our pain is huge and words fail us! 

I know that the earthquake cannot be prevented, but still I cannot help feeling this way as the consequences could be prevented to a certain extent. This news has dragged me back into that stress, fear and concern.


Türkiye, Earthquake & Devastation

I wish a speedy recovery to those who survived the February 6th earthquake. I send my condolences and deepest thoughts and wish endurance to those who lost their families and loved ones. I heartily hope for good news for those waiting to be rescued under the rubble.

I have to face the “earthquake fact” within myself but my heart hurts and I cannot find any other words to say.

Get well soon, Türkiye!




Source of the image: KOERI-RETMC



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