March 28, 2023

The earthquakes have left residents of Iskenderun with no water or functioning sewage system, with electrical energy accessible in solely half the town.

Iskenderun, Turkey – Serizan Agbas, 61, has been sleeping in a chair within the backyard of a faculty for the reason that earthquakes devastated the southeastern area of Turkey on February 6.

Agbas’ house block continues to be standing however was deemed not protected to reside in. So she stays out within the open and shares fireplace and meals with rescuers.

“Our ache is immense. I’ve solely 15 lire [$0.80] in my pocket, I do not actually have a cigarette,” she informed Al Jazeera. “I’ve nothing to lose now, so I am not afraid.”

For 30 years, Agbas ran a textile store, however the earthquake destroyed the constructing it was in and she or he had no insurance coverage. Not understanding what else to do, she involves the constructing daily anyway, generally she meets Ozhan Komurcu there, who used to run a carpet store within the constructing too.

Fourteen folks had been saved from the collapsed constructing, they informed Al Jazeera. However they imagine greater than 100 folks died in it. There isn’t any water or functioning sewage system, they added, and solely half the town has electrical energy and individuals are beginning to fear about ailments spreading.

The aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Iskenderun, Turkey
The aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Iskenderun, Turkey [Patrick Keddie/Al Jazeera]

The huge earthquakes on Monday – with magnitudes of seven.8 and seven.6 – have to date killed greater than 24,000 folks and wounded greater than 80,000 others in southeastern Turkey. Greater than 6,400 buildings have collapsed, in line with authorities.

Agbas thinks many of the buildings that both collapsed or grew to become uninhabitable following the quakes had been constructed within the final 5 years and says anger is rising over the development.

“The builders are cheats – they make one thing shiny and opulent wanting, however it’s actually low-cost and weak,” she mentioned.

The aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Iskenderun, Turkey
Provides for rescuers as sporadic rescue operations are nonetheless ongoing within the metropolis [Patrick Keddie/Al Jazeera]

On Tuesday, the Turkish authorities declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces alongside its southern border with Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan final week accepted “shortcomings” within the state’s response to the quakes, including that extreme climate had made rescue efforts harder and that the efforts had been now totally on observe.

Considerations over looting have additionally been raised within the stricken areas, with state media saying that 48 looters had been arrested throughout eight provinces.

Iskenderun noticed loads of looting within the first two days, Agbas and Komurcu mentioned, however now the navy has been deployed on the streets in an effort to make it safer and forestall looting.

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