Today marks two months since the February 6th earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
I’ve been finding it difficult to believe that.
It feels like just few days ago that I woke up to dozens of messages from people around the world checking in to see if we were safe.
It feels like just a few days ago that we filled up vehicles with as many supplies as we could fit, and drove the 12+ hour route to try to help some of those hardest hit and least helped by the quakes.
The memories from that first week after the quake will remain burned deep in our memories for many years, I’m sure.
The unparalleled destruction. The incomparable loss. The inexpressible pain in the faces of those who had experienced this worst-in-centuries event.
One conversation stuck out to me today: a few of us had tea a few weeks ago with one Syrian friend who had been involved in rescuing people from destroyed buildings during the Syrian war, and who also ended up involved in helping with rescue and relief efforts here in Turkey after the earthquake.
He said, “This earthquake was worse than war. In war, there are only so many buildings that can be destroyed at once. We could rescue people from one building, and then, when the next building got destroyed, we would rescue people from it, too. It was hell, but we could at least keep up with it to some extent. We know how to rescue people from a destroyed building. But with this earthquake, there were 160,000 buildings destroyed in mere seconds. There was no way in the world to rescue people from that many buildings. There was no way we could keep up with this.”
The earthquake and its results have been taking a majority of our attention for 2 months now. For how all-encompassing it’s been for us and for this country, it feels so weird to have not seen much or any global news about the tragedy for many weeks now. It’s understandable, of course; the news cycle always needs to find its next thing. But, it’s still amazing to me how quickly the world moved on from the deaths of 50,000+ people.
As for my friends and I, we’ve committed for the coming months – as long as our visas, strength, and funding allow – to contiue to be a part of trying to help those affected by this earthquake, and to continue to try to help come up with effective solutions to address the needs of those we come across.
There’s still a long road this region will walk to be restored… and we’re so honored we get to be a small, small part of it.