Rescue workers search for survivors in freezing weather
Rescue teams worked early Tuesday to release people trapped in the rubble of buildings in southern Turkey as the death toll from the previous day's devastating earthquake rose to nearly 3,000.
Nearly 8,000 people were rescued from 4,758 buildings destroyed, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) said in its latest statement.
Icy winter weather hampered the search for survivors during the night and worsened conditions for those trapped under rubble or left homeless.
In Kahramanmaras, entire families gathered around fires and wrapped themselves in blankets to stay warm, weeping for their loved ones waiting to be saved.
Fatma Sezer was one of them who cried for their children’s salvation, as her anger could be read in her eyes.
"My four children are under the rubble, where is the state? The police came. We asked for help, we begged. They said 'God help you' and left. We have been waiting for help since 4 am. We did not get any help. My children can not live under concrete. Look, they are all there," she said.
In the Turkish city of Iskenderun, rescuers climbed an enormous pile of debris that was once part of a state hospital's intensive care unit in search of survivors. Health workers did what they could to tend to the new rush of injured patients.
In a park in Diyarbakir, the tents for the earthquake victims waiting in the cold were inadequate, there was no firewood, and no food was provided. There was only soup, no bread.
A woman staying with her family in front of the park expressed her reaction in these words:
"Since last night, the children have been sleeping here without shoes and blankets. Believe me, there is no help. The tent was not provided to the victims. I am a victim, but I do not have a tent. We sleep on the sidewalk. No blankets, no food or drink. We are a family, 30 people are outside, 20 people are under the rubble. They are all our relatives. The earthquake also hit these areas. Neither food nor water was given.