Lives were lost, livelihoods were torn apart after the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. The death toll surpassed 20,000 and it continues to rise. Human reason cannot imagine anything more horrific, survivors and helpers report. Some Hungarians are also affected. This is the tragic story of a woman and her four children.
A Hungarian mother and her four children have experienced hell at the site of the earthquake in Türkiye. The family lost everything, and they say they owe it to “divine luck” that they survived at all. Days after the tragedy, they are still reeling from the events and fearing further earthquakes, 24.hu writes.
The family is in one of the worst affected areas, Adıyaman province. All the infrastructure has been destroyed and they have no means of escape. 24.hu was able to contact them indirectly through the sister of the distressed mother.
Ildikó moved to Gölbaşı from Germany just three months ago with her four children and her Turkish-born husband. “According to my sister, when they went home the night before the earthquake, the sky was strangely overcast and the smell outside was different from what it usually was, which was not a big deal at the time,” Enikő, the woman’s sister, told 24.hu.
The earthquake occurred in the early hours of the morning local time when veryone was asleep. At first, Ildikó thought that a plane had crashed into the building. However, she didn’t have much time to think about it. Seconds later, the walls started to collapse and they and the beds toppled over. Everyone was screaming and shouting, they had great difficulty getting to the exit on all fours, which by then had almost completely collapsed.
There was a small hole in it, and the mother threw her children out through it. She said she didn’t know how she had the strength to do it. Her husband was not with them, as he had just returned to Germany to collect the personal belongings left over from the move. So, she had to act alone.
After they struggled to get out of the house, which was falling apart over their heads, she laid her children on top of each other and then lay down on top of them, protecting them. The ground shook, the buildings collapsing around them like a house of cards. At that moment, they all thought they were going to die. If Ildikó hadn’t had such a presence of mind, they probably wouldn’t have survived the disaster, 24.hu writes.
Ildikó and her four children have been moved to a nearby mountain shelter, where there are 12 of them in total. On Monday afternoon, when the second major earthquake hit the area in 12 hours, they all ran out of the building in a panic. They survived that too, thankfully.
The rest of the family could not be contacted until Monday afternoon, almost half a day after the news of the earthquake broke. Until then, her husband and other family members living in Hungary could only hope for their safety as the death toll continued to rise.
“I can’t sleep either, I’m constantly checking the Turkish pages to see what’s happening. We are trying to keep in touch with my sister, but it is terribly difficult. Not only because of the power cuts, but also because only the WhatsApp service is working, and it is also intermittent. Sometimes she can’t reply to my messages for hours, which is worrying. It is terrible that we are helpless at home. We are just waiting and praying that somehow they will survive all this and be able to come out of there,” Enikő said.
The Hungarian consulate is reportedly organising their evacuation from the area, but the city is inaccessible for the time being. This means that even Ildikó’s husband cannot go there. She was only able to take a few personal belongings and some food from their previous home. Virtually everything they had was lost.
“This catastrophe is incomprehensible, the spectacle is unbearable,”
As the days go by, Ildikó is losing her strength, she is mentally shaken by what has happened. According to her sister, she has constant panic attacks, but tries to stay strong in front of the little children. Even during the day on Wednesday, she called home in tears, saying that they were terrified and scared to death. They do not know what tomorrow holds.
Asked how Hungarians could possibly help the family, Enikő said, “anyone who can, pray for them.”