Pain lingers on over the rubble
By Osman Cakli
The streets of Antakya and Defne have lost their qualities for all kinds of life. The urge to survive prevails, but the disorganized work to distribute the incoming aid leads to a crisis.
Women from Urfa, another disaster area, mourn their loved ones in Antakya in front of the rubble.
Men, on the other hand, move vehicles out of the way so that the cranes can work on the wrecks.
Those who do not know what to do, sit with their heads forward, pensive.
Although the weather is sunny, lack of appetite and malnutrition, combined with the fatigue caused by the cold and the days of waiting, cause people to freeze. Those who do not leave the wreckage still continue to wait, wrapped in blankets.
When someone's voice is heard among the rubble, the excitement rises, people form a life corridor. The ambulance is called with the cry "stretcher up". The paramedics carrying the stretcher rush over the rubble. Blankets lie ready and waiting for the person to be pulled out of the rubble.
But the more hours pass, the more bad news comes. The deceased are pulled from the rubble without even being wrapped in a shroud. Ambulances are running low as the death toll is unpredictable. The dead wait to be buried on the sidewalks. Some have families, some do not. Four people pick up a body lying on the sidewalk and hand it over to the paramedics. However, the suspicion that DNA samples were not taken from these dead bodies is widespread in the city.
Among those working on the wreckage are teams from China with search and rescue dogs. A dog that finds five dead and two alive people in an apartment attracts the attention of people in the area.
Those who no longer have a roff leave the city with whatever they can take. It is not so easy to find a bus for transportation, as the conditions are quite bad. One family sets out on foot with everything they have packed in their bag.
The earthquake was a traumatic event not only for humans but also for animals. No matter what animal we try to approach, they run away in fear. They do not interact with people and try to live alone among the stones and concrete blocks.
We come to the Armutlu quarter of the Defne district. The side streets are full of half-open houses and their rubble.
The miners who volunteered to work in the rubble of the Armutlu district and various districts of Antakya are holding a preliminary meeting in front of the provincial gendarmerie building. They get ready to spread out in the rubble. Their chiefs list what can be done, how to communicate and what reports are coming in.
The miners who went to the wrecks in Armutlu get tired after hours of work and take a break to rest. The miners describe that the buildings collapsed exponentially and that there was a jam where not everyone could enter.
At the 104th hour after the earthquake, the miners pulled out alive a 58-year-old man named Cemal. Here is a team member of the rescue crew.
Tears sometimes accompany joy, sometimes sadness. The more hours pass, the more restless people become, as the decision to "clear the rubble" with heavy equipment nears.
The work of removing the rubble is watched hopefully to see if anyone comes out alive. A car damaged by the earthquake is lifted by a crane.