Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Friday, Mar 31, 2023

Photos tied to tree of missing boys highlight painful search for quake victims

Photos tied to tree of missing boys highlight painful search for quake victims

No one knows what has become of the two boys whose photos are tied to a tree close to the block of flats where they lived in the earthquake-hit Turkish city of Kahramanmaras.
In one, a baby boy in an orange babygro smiles out from a turquoise armchair, in the other an older boy climbs into a swimming pool, looking proudly into the camera.

“Their parents are deceased,” said earthquake survivor Bayram Nacar, who stood waiting with other local men wearing masks as an excavator cleared a huge pile of shattered concrete and twisted metal rods behind the tree.

He said the bodies of the boys’ parents were still under the rubble. “The father was called Atilla Sariyildiz. His body is yet to be found. We are hoping to find the parents after the excavators remove the debris.”

There are 10 bodies under the rubble, he believes. He does not know if the boys are among them.

The combined death toll in Turkiye and Syria from last week’s earthquake has climbed to more than 41,000, with millions now in need of humanitarian aid after being left homeless in near-freezing winter temperatures.

Drone footage of Kahramanmaras, close to the epicenter of the quake, shows the devastation it caused, leveling buildings and forcing families to seek shelter in tents erected in the city’s stadium.

In the emergency camp, children play between the tents dotted across the field and the running track and a huge line assembles for food.

“We are hoping to go back to our homes. It was a disastrous earthquake and people are in immense pain. Survivors are still scared but despite everything, we stand strong,” said Ali Cevik, a local man now living in a tent.

In another tent, 28-year-old Hatice Kavakdali clutched a grey teddy bear.

“I can’t put the experience we had into words. It was so terrifying and I am still feeling the pain of that,” she said. “I lost consciousness after the quake and I am still recovering. I couldn’t remember my family or how we got out of the house.”

Meanwhile, in a hospital in earthquake-hit northwest Syria, eight-year-old Hanaa keeps asking for news of her family, unaware she is the sole survivor among her immediate relatives.

Her father, mother and four-year-old sister were among the people killed in the quake.

After years of war and displacement in Syria, the disaster orphaned many children when their families were lost under rubble.

“She keeps asking for her father, her mother and her sister,” said Abdullah Sherif, Hanaa’s uncle, at Maarrat Misrine hospital in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

“We have not dared to tell her the truth yet.”

Hanaa was trapped for 33 hours under the rubble of her collapsed building in the border town of Harim, before she was pulled out and rushed to the hospital about 25 km away.

When she got there, she was “in a critical condition,” her doctor Bassel Staif said. “She suffered severe dehydration, having been under the rubble without food or water and in the cold weather.”

Hanaa’s condition has since stabilized, and she sometimes smiles despite the injuries on her face.

But her left arm, which is in a cast, was crushed during the quake, Staif said, noting that his team is doing its best to save it.

“She has now left the intensive care unit, her condition is stable. But she is at risk of having an arm amputated.”

In the hospital room packed with Valentine’s Day balloons, Hanaa’s uncle remains by her side. But he fears her condition will only worsen when she learns of her family’s fate.

The little girl has only her grandparents and uncles to raise her in this rebel-held region, home to some 4 million people, many of them displaced from other parts of war-torn Syria.

Last week’s quake has affected more than 7 million children, including 2.5 million in Syria alone, according to James Elder, spokesman for the UN children’s agency UNICEF.

He says the disaster has piled more misery on Syrian children who have only witnessed tragedy in their lives because of the war that broke out more than a decade ago.

Every child under the age of 12 “has known nothing but conflict, violence or displacement,” said Elder. “Some children have been displaced six or seven times.

“For many of these children ... this is trauma on top of trauma.”

Samah Hadid of the Norwegian Refugee Council has also warned that children are at “grave psychological risk due to the scale of the shock.”

Three-year-old Arslan was the sole survivor from his family after their building in Harim was one of least 35 destroyed.

His uncle, Ezzat Hamdi, says rescuers kept digging for three days to find the bodies of Arslan’s father, mother and siblings.

“We found the father’s body hugging the boy,” said Hamdi, 30, adding that the mother’s body was found 2 meters away.

The little boy has since been kept in intensive care, with Hamdi watching over him.

“The child’s lower limbs were crushed” and he suffered internal damage, said doctor Omar Al-Ali of the children’s hospital in Sarmada.

For Obada Zikra, a member of the White Helmets rescue group that operates in Syria’s rebel-held areas, the first hours of the quake disaster were the most agonizing.

“We could only hear the screams and moans of children,” he said, noting the brief bursts of joy whenever rescuers found a child alive. “We have pulled out many children who are still alive, but also dead ones,” he said.

Related Articles

Arab Press
Don’t Dismiss China’s Peacemaking Bid
China and Brazil have signed a new deal that will allow them to trade in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar as an intermediary
Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’
“We've had evidence prior to the pandemic that masks were largely ineffective at preventing community transmission of influenza “
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rejects being labeled a "billionaire"
Jamie Dimon is being deposed over JPMorgan Chase role in Epstein lawsuits
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
Smart Iranian fashion designer teaching dummy TV anchors lesson about reality
U.S. charges FTX's Bankman-Fried with paying $40 million bribe
Fallen 'Crypto King' Who Owes Millions to Investors Was Kidnapped and Tortured
Regulators blame social media for SVB's rapid collapse: 'Complete game changer'
AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
Saray Street in Hatay-Antakya before and after the earthquake
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.
The desk of King Carlos Alberto of Sardinia has many secret compartments