Survivors hold on to life in tent cities

Survivors hold on to life in tent cities

Survivors hold on to life in tent cities

Following the quakes that affected approximately 20 million people, some survivors in 11 provinces have settled in tent and container cities set up in stadiums, while several others have settled themselves in greenhouses.

At least 43,556 people lost their lives in the earthquake that hit the southern provinces on Feb. 6.

Another 6.4 magnitude tremor that occurred in Hatay on Feb. 20 claimed six people’s lives.

While thousands of people were left homeless after the devastating earthquakes, many different solutions are being applied for temporary shelters in 11 provinces.

Survivors in the province of Adıyaman try to warm up by burning stoves in hundreds of tents located on the green field in the middle of an athletics track.

The long jump track located in front of the psychosocial support tents of the Turkish Red Crescent turned into a playground for children.

Trying to heal the wounds of the quakes, children play with their toys with expert psychologists.

“In the fields where athletes once sweat, now we are breaking a sweat to hold on to life. We want to return to the old days as soon as possible,” said İbrahim Yılmaz, whose house was heavily damaged and settled in a tent on the athletics track with his family.

After the recent 6.4 magnitude quake on Feb. 20, life became more difficult in Hatay, where the most severe destruction occurred, while some earthquake victims were now afraid to even enter tents.

Most citizens spend the night outside by staying awake till morning in front of the fires they light.

Some earthquake victims, on the other hand, have still not found a tent to shelter in, so they have created a shelter in their greenhouses by removing the plants and products there.

“Our house was destroyed; we couldn’t find a tent. With the last earthquake, we started to be more afraid. We have made the fields our home; we live in our greenhouses. Let them find a solution for us, let them extend a helping hand,” one of the survivors said.

The General Directorate of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) announced that 6,000 people were hosted in wagons and stations affiliated with it.

A container city was also established for 3,000 people in Islahiye, one of the districts of Gaziantep that was most affected by the earthquakes.

In the container city, which includes a kindergarten, primary and secondary schools and a nursery, there is also a playground for children, as well as a market, laundry, shower-toilet, dining hall, bakery and prayer room.

Tents, containers and other items related to housing needs are still on top of the list of urgent needs, while many aid collection centers emphasized the importance of continuity of relief as the amount of aid and the number of volunteers significantly decreased in recent days.

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