in Antakya, anger and dejection

in Antakya anger and dejection

The toll continues to rise after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey on Monday morning. In Antakya, in the Hatay region, one of the most affected by the earthquake, many victims are still under the rubble waiting for help.

With our special correspondent in Antakya, Manon Chaplain

We arrive in town, when a man with a face covered in blood gets into our car. Abdelkader leaves the hospital and wants to return as soon as possible to see the building under which he was still buried a few hours ago. ” Our apartment collapsed, he said. Me, I stayed in the rain for three hours and now I don’t remember anything. I don’t know where my family is. »

In the car, he recounts the horror: the brutal awakening, the shaking walls, the attempt to escape, and finally, the darkness under the rubble. Rescuers came to pull him out a few hours later. Abdelkader still can’t believe it. ” Some destroyed apartments on my street were less than a year old. The way real estate developers have gone about it is not honest. They invested in bad hardware just to get rich. »

Very quickly, our car is blocked in traffic jams. You have to finish on foot. On the road, the inhabitants all hold the same speech: help is lacking, and the authorities have abandoned them. ” Everybody says in the papers, “we help the Hatay region“, but that’s not true, says a man. No one has done anything since the earthquake that happened yesterday at 4 am until last night. They also say that they are sending planes. But “Where are those planes? Nowhere. For two days I haven’t eaten or drunk any water. Because no one is helping us.” »

After a few minutes of walking, Abdelkader finds his building, of which nothing remains. But in front of the rubble, his daughter is waiting for him. She sees him in the distance, bursts into tears, then takes him in her arms. His whole family is safe and sound.

►Read also: Earthquake: international aid arrives in Turkey, but what to do in Syria?

“We lost everything”

What we notice immediately when arriving in Antakya is that a lot of buildings have collapsed. It is even to wonder if there are not now more buildings destroyed than standing buildings.

According to the inhabitants, a large part of the rubble has not yet been excavated by the relief workers for lack of manpower, hence the anger of many families of victims. It was not uncommon on Tuesday to see some attacking the rescuers, accusing them of being too slow.

Many Turkish Crusaders confess, as we have seen, that they feel neglected by the authorities. They feel like they are the last to get help. Consequence: the inhabitants organize themselves to fetch the bodies still under the rubble.

Finally, many Turks crossed in town take the road to Adana, Ankara or even Istanbul. ” What’s the point of staying? It’s all over here “says a resident who is thinking of leaving. Gasoline is running out, as is water and food, which are almost impossible to find in the city.

Basically, we lived on the 4th floor. After the earthquake, we looked outside, and it is as if we were on the first floor. There used to be a store below our house, and today it’s completely gone. Thank God my whole family is fine, we managed to escape at the last moment. But sadly, I have hundreds of friends here, and when I look on my Instagram now, most of them are dead, or no one can hear from them. I’m in love with someone, and I still don’t know if she’s alive or not, I don’t know what to do. I’m going to go for a walk to see my building there, and then I’ll go directly to see my girlfriend’s. I have to go look, I have to go and check that everything is fine. We lost everything. And nobody helps us, especially the government. I hate this government.

The testimony of Ibrahim, met today in Antakya