Türkiye quake survivors struggle to find shelter nearly three weeks on

ANTAKYA: Omran Alswed and his family are still living in makeshift shelters almost three weeks after the massive earthquake in southern Türkiye, having been unable to find a place in an official camp.

Nearly two million people left homeless by the quake are being housed in tents, container homes and other facilities in and beyond the region, according to Turkish authorities, but Alswed, 25, said his extended family had not yet benefitted.

“Our houses are heavily damaged so we have taken shelter here, in a garden in our neighbourhood,” said Alswed, who studied nursing at Siirt University in southeast Türkiye.

“The biggest issue is tents. It has been 19 days and we are yet to receive a single tent. We also applied to move into a tent camp but they said the ones nearby are full,” he said at a makeshift settlement near the city of Antakya.

Alswed was among 60 Syrians, including at least a dozen young children, staying beside the road to Reyhanli town in 11 shelters composed of plastic sheeting, blankets, bricks and chunks of concrete from damaged buildings.

He was speaking after Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said overnight that the death toll in Turkey had risen to 44,218, bringing the total toll including Syria to 50,000.

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