The earth moved.
What we went through was doomsday in the strictest sense.
While tectonic plates generally move about 30 centimeters (12 inches) at most annually due to earthquakes, the two massive quakes – magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 respectively – that shook our country within a matter of nine hours, moved the Anatolian plate by 3 meters (9.84 feet). Around 1,500 aftershocks occurred in the hours following the two quakes.
We are currently facing not only the largest disaster of our republic’s history but also the largest on these lands in the past thousand years. So far, 20,213 people lost their lives and 80,052 were injured, according to the latest data. Unfortunately, these figures are expected to rise in the coming days.
There are 121,128 emergency staff actively working on the ground, while 30,306 search and rescue crews are on the field. There are 160 aircraft and 22 vessels contributing to earthquake relief and rescue efforts. Furthermore, 12,241 search and rescue vehicles were shipped to the disaster zone. Some 97,973 tents were set up in 10 provinces hit by the earthquake.
Recovery will take time
Some 6,479 search and rescue staff from 75 countries arrived in our country to support the rescue efforts. It was rather significant that the countries that received crucial aid from Türkiye during the COVID-19 pandemic were the leading ones in the search and rescue efforts, serving as a reminder of universal humanitarian values.
It will take Türkiye some time to heal the wounds of this massive disaster. The earthquake hit an area extending up to 109,000 kilometers (67,730 miles).
Currently, there are over a million people who are left without homes. There is also a great need to work in many fields, including the reconstruction of cities and psychological support.
We are at the bottom of the ladder, but great nations hold a great sense of endurance. We will overcome this disaster and emerge stronger than before.