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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Turkey earthquake: Survivors continue to struggle to find shelter | World News

Turkey earthquake: Survivors continue to struggle to find shelter | World News

Omran Alswed and his family remain in a makeshift shelter nearly three weeks after the massive earthquake in the south turkeycould not find a place in the official camp.

According to Turkish authorities, nearly two million people made homeless by the quake have been housed in tents, shipping container homes and other facilities in and around the region, but Alswid, 25, said his extended family has yet to benefit.

“Our house was badly damaged, so we took refuge in a nearby garden,” said Alswid, who studies nursing at Siirt University in southeastern Turkey.

“The biggest problem is tent. It has been 19 days and we have not received a single tent. We also applied to move into a tented camp, but they said the nearby tents were full,” he said at a makeshift settlement near the city of Antakya.

Alswed is one of 60 Syrianincluding at least a dozen young children, are living in 11 shelters along the road to Reyhanli town made of plastic sheeting, blankets, bricks and concrete blocks from damaged buildings .

He was speaking overnight at Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) death toll The death toll in Turkey rose to 44,218, bringing the total death toll including Syria to 50,000.

AFAD said more than 335,000 tents have been erected in Turkey’s earthquake-stricken areas, and container housing sites have been established at 130 locations. Nearly 530,000 people have also been evacuated from the quake zone.

Alswed said he has been making official phone calls and discussing their situation with AFAD and other aid groups, including asking for tents, while smaller NGOs have brought canned food, toilet paper and some toys for the children.

Outside Antakya, on the road to the town of Kirikhan, a woman named Ayse was living in a greenhouse next to her damaged house after authorities told her there were no tents available.

“We didn’t get tents but other people were in worse conditions than us and I hope they get them first. At least we have a greenhouse. I brought my kids here,” she said, adding that her husband brought them from the house. Pull out a couch for the kids to sleep on.

“We have supplies, but they say they don’t have tents for now. We’re waiting.”

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