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Turks selfless even during earthquakes: South African medic

Turks selfless even during earthquakes: South African medic
'Coming down and seeing it face to face -- that's a devastation you can't even begin to imagine,' says Raina Gihwala

By Salih Okuroglu

ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish people are “so selfless, humble and loving towards people” even during the recent devastating earthquakes, a South African rescue medic said Friday.

Emergency medical technician from the Gift of the Givers, Raina Gihwala, told Anadolu that she cannot "put into words" how Turkish people have responded to the quakes

South African rescue teams made up of 45 people and five rescue dogs were dispatched to Hatay province, one of the worst-hit provinces, by Turkish authorities late Wednesday.

Gihwala said Turks greatly helped South African rescuers during their stay in Hatay.

"When you see what's happening on the news, you think you have an idea of what to be expected. But as coming down and seeing it face to face -- that's a devastation you can't even begin to imagine,” she said. “Even being there for a week and having multiple rescue teams from all over the world as well as the Turkish, we still did not touch all surfaces, yet they were buildings and sites that had not been assessed.”

It is impossible to reach everywhere in such devastation that large, she said. “It is not something that can be done fast.”

Gihwala was in Türkiye a month ago and met Turks in different cities. She said seeing Türkiye this time “opened my heart” and she was moved by seeing people losing everything. Gihwala added that people she met a month ago had the same hospitality, generosity and warmth that was touching.

Depicting the destruction in the region, she said it was saddening to see the collapsed buildings and people from all walks of life in despair.

The 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes on Feb. 6 in southern Türkiye affected more than 13 million people across 11 provinces.

More than 38,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured.

source: News Feed
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