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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

One yr after earthquake, stays of historic Antioch unrecognisable

Greater than 20,000 individuals died in Antioch and surrounding province, whereas the town misplaced 90% of its buildings within the earthquake.
| Picture Credit score: AFP

Mevlude Aydin can not deliver herself to go to the graves of her daughter and husband or the dozen different relations she misplaced in Turkiye’s catastrophic earthquake one yr in the past.

The trauma of seeing her historic dwelling metropolis of Antakya become unrecognisable ruins is an excessive amount of for the 41-year-old to bear.

“Our Hatay is gone. Fully gone,” Ms. Aydin mentioned at one of many depressingly cramped container properties the federal government has constructed for survivors throughout the devastated Hatay province of which Antakya is the capital.

The February 6, 2023, catastrophe killed greater than 50,000 individuals and erased swathes of complete cities throughout Turkiye’s southeast in the midst of the evening.

No place was affected greater than Antakya — a mountain-rimmed cradle of Muslim and Christian civilisations recognized all through historical past as Antioch. 90% of its buildings have been misplaced and greater than 20,000 individuals died within the metropolis and its surrounding province.

Container metropolis

Antakya’s survivors have been left to cope with the shock in fenced-off camps comprised of a whole bunch of an identical properties that seem like transport containers.

Households have entry to operating water and energy that the federal government presents at no cost. However grim-faced police guarding their entrances give these miniature steel cities the air of jail camps.

Native leaders estimate that Hatay’s inhabitants has shrunk to 2,50,000 from 1.7 million for the reason that quake. Practically 1,90,000 had been housed in containers by November.

Most of those that remained within the province had no relations to stick with in different components of Turkiye or have been just too hooked up to their land.

However that land bears little resemblance to what stood earlier than the primary 7.8-magnitude quake struck.

Antakya has been remodeled from a bustling metropolis with pulsating nightlife and historic structure right into a patchwork of huge empty areas and skeletal stays of buildings.

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