Child allegedly dies of cold in quake-hit Van

Child allegedly dies of cold in quake-hit Van

VAN - Doğan News Agency
Child allegedly dies of cold in quake-hit Van

Seven children have allegedly died due to extremely cold weather conditions while 188 children also lost their parents in the quake, according to reports. AA photo

A young girl has allegedly died of cold and malnutrition in the eastern province of Van, where residents continue to live in tent cities and make-shift homes following a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Oct. 23.

“We survived the earthquake and managed to save ourselves at the last moment, but my daughter has died. I fear that my twin girls will also die of the cold. We carried them both to the hospital,” said Pakize Örgün, the mother of Öznur Örgün, 6, who fell ill on Nov. 14 inside a makeshift nylon lean-to built by her parents after their apartment building was damaged in the quake.

Extreme conditions

The girl was taken to the Van Regional Training and Research Hospital by a police car on patrol, although she died the next day after spending a night in intensive care. Her body was buried in the neighborhood cemetery on Nov. 16, according to reports.

Seven children have died due to extreme conditions in the province since the temblor first struck. A total of 188 children have also lost their parents in the quake, though the orphans have access to counseling services and were given shelter in their relatives’ homes, according to reports.

“We are desperate. We have no place to go. I do not know what we are going to do. No one lent us a helping hand. We took shelter under this nylon lean-to we set up with our own means. If things continue this way, however, we are all going to die here,” said Cemil Örgün, who used to be employed as a cement factory worker, but was laid off when production levels fell following the earthquake.

Öznur Örgün’s cause of death was formally announced as malnutrition, excessive dehydration and cold, although she was initially taken to hospital with complaints of diarrhea, vomiting and common cold.

The tremor has triggered a massive exodus from the city, as 51,000 residents have appealed to the governor’s office to be relocated elsewhere, while others have emigrated using their own means. Only about 5,000 of the applicants were sent to the provinces of their choice, while the remainder is still waiting.