Turkey-Syria Earthquake: Millions Await Aid While Suffering Cold and Grief
Along the road, aid groups handed out boxes of bread, diapers, clothes, shoes and other supplies to the newly homeless.
In the ancient city of Antakya in Hatay, buildings were largely in ruins, with its mosque, old bazaar and Protestant church wrecked by the quake. Large numbers of the city’s apartment blocks had collapsed, too, and residents were furious that rescue crews had taken so long to arrive, most likely increasing the death toll.
“Thankfully, the soldiers came a few hours ago, but they don’t have any equipment,” said Kubilay Seyithaliloglu, 42, a volunteer rescuer. “They are digging with their hands.”
In the coastal city of Iskenderun, the quake and a subsequent fire had damaged the region’s most important port, which could hamper relief efforts.
The disaster has further damaged Turkey’s economy, which had been characterized by high inflation and low wages before the quake.
Trading at Turkey’s main stock exchange was halted again on Wednesday as sharp declines triggered so-called circuit breakers, after the benchmark stock index fell 7 percent. The index has fallen more than 20 percent from its peak in early January. The exchange did not say when trading would resume.
As many in Turkey took to social media to voice their views on the government’s response, as well as to share information and campaign for aid, NetBlocks, a group that tracks internet outages, said that Twitter had been blocked on several networks in the country. Alp Toker, NetBlocks’s director, said the nature of the blockage suggested it had been done with software installed by telecommunications providers, most likely because of a government order.