By Mays Ibrahim Mustafa – Feb 08,2023 – JORDAN TIMES
A man looks as rescuers and civilians search for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Kahramanmaras, close to the earthquake’s epicentre, on Wednesday (AFP photo by Adem Altan)
AMMAN — The past few days haven’t been easy for Jordanians as many have shared the grievances of their neighbours in Turkey and war-ravaged Syria, both hit by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday.
Many took to social media to organise fundraising campaigns, while others, gripped by fear and worry, made pleas for information about their loved ones in earthquake-damaged areas with whom they lost contact.
Sa’ad Bukhari, a Jordanian whose daughter is studying in Kayseri, Turkey, shared the tense moments she experienced during the earthquake, along with the prayers for her daughter’s safe return.
“She woke up at 4:30 in the morning overwhelmed by fear and confusion after her bed started violently shaking, while hearing the cries of another girl urging everyone to leave the building,” the girl’s father wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Bukhari’s brother was able to secure a plane ticket for his niece to travel to Istanbul where he was staying, but flights were later cancelled due to a snowstorm.
The father said that he and her mother lived through every difficult moment that their daughter went through, adding that “although far in distance, [they] are close through their hearts and prayers”.
Jordanian Sami Al Zou’bi and his family in Amman also lived through fearful moments after losing contact with his nephew, who is a student in Batman, Turkey.
“The entire family is in a state of worry and anxiousness,” he wrote on his Facebook page, praying for his nephew’s safety and urging the authorities to increase their search efforts.
Hours later, Sami shared another post saying: “Thank god, My nephew … is well and in good health”.
Zou’bi told The Jordan Times that he was able to reach his nephew through a friend in Turkey, who confirmed that T’emat was safe in a school shelter.
He added that the area where his nephew is staying wasn’t notably impacted by the earthquake; but because the earthquake led to the appearance of cracks in the walls of some buildings, Turkish authorities evacuated residents into shelters as a precautionary measure.
Turkish and Syrian survivors also shared heart-wrenching stories on social media platforms, either mourning their losses or urging people for information on missing loved ones.
“I have never lived through more difficult days,” one survivor from Lataki, Syria, who lost her mother and sister, wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“I saw death under the rubble with no air or light, while my ribs were breaking unable to move … suddenly the voices of my mother and sister disappeared along with their breaths,” she said.
After realising that her sister, covered in blood, died in her lap, the woman lost consciousness.
The survivor woke up to the sound of her father urging her to “breathe and not leave [him] alone”, until rescuers arrived and transferred them both to the hospital.
“I lost my soul and all the beautiful things in my life; I lost … my companion and the person I lean on,” she wrote.
On Wednesday afternoon, the death toll in Syria rose to 1,262, with 2,285 people injured, the Syrian Health Ministry announced on its Facebook page.
At a press conference in Kahramanmaras, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that at least 8,574 people were killed and 49,133 others injured, according to state news agency Anadolu.
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