Foreign journalists from many countries of the world came to Turkey due to the earthquake. The common view of the journalists, especially from the earthquake countries Japan, Taiwan and Italy, is as follows: “We did not anticipate that the disaster was this big. We were surprised by the severity of the earthquake.”
Journalists from many countries of the world also came to Turkey for the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş. Among The Journalists Who Traveled to the provinces most affected by the earthquake for 10 days, there were also journalists from countries that were described as ‘earthquake countries’. Journalists from Japan, Taiwan and Italy told Hürriyet what they saw and experienced. The common word that came out of the mouths of foreign journalists is, “We could not even imagine that the disaster could be this big when we set out. We were surprised by the magnitude of the disaster and the severity of the earthquake.
‘LESS TO BE LEARNED’
Taiwan Official Television Channel (PTS) correspondent Chen Kuan-Xun said, “We traveled to Kahramanmaraş, Pazarcık, Gaziantep and Adıyaman regions and made news. Among the regions we visited, Adıyaman impressed us the most. People were staying on the streets in the freezing cold. He was looking for his relatives. We checked the buildings and saw a lot of bricks with voids and foam material being used. In my opinion, buildings should not be built from these materials. Because Turkey is an earthquake country. If buildings continue to be built in this way, the loss of life may increase in earthquakes in the coming years. Buildings and building codes need urgent retrofitting. Old buildings need to be demolished as soon as possible and moved to new and solid ground. The earthquake is slowly going all the way to Istanbul. Everyone should learn a lesson,” he said.
Taiwan Official Television Channel (PTS) reporters interviewed Hürriyet reporters Emre Eser and Taylan Özgür Dil to get information about the earthquake in Adıyaman.
‘BIGGEST DISASTER I’VE EVER SEEN’
Reminding That Taiwan, China and Japan are on the earthquake line, Kuan-Xun said, “In 1999, a major earthquake disaster occurred in Taiwan. Even search and rescue teams from Turkey came to help us. The Taiwanese state learned great lessons from this earthquake. He did not allow any building to be built on the wrong ground and with the wrong materials. Afterwards, we experienced major earthquakes in Taiwan again. However, this time our buildings remained standing. Turkey has almost turned into a war zone,” he said. Lin, the cameraman of the PTS channel, stated that he will not forget what he experienced and saw in Chih-Chien for many years, and underlined that the Kahmaranmaraş-centered earthquakes are the biggest disasters he has ever seen.
ITALIAN JOURNALIST: THE FIRST TIME I ARRIVED
Giuseppe Didonna from Italy’s Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI) said: “There are earthquakes in Italy too, but I don’t think I will ever see a bigger disaster than this one. Those who did not come here cannot understand the magnitude of this earthquake. When I first arrived, I froze. There were no buildings standing,” he said. Explaining that she traveled around the earthquake area, Didonna said, “In some cities, the damage is very great. In Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Adıyaman, the earthquake destroyed many buildings. I know Turkey very well. I’ve been to this region a lot, but now I can’t find the words to describe what I saw. Earthquakes happen very often in my country, but if this is an earthquake, what happened in Italy is not an earthquake,” he said.
JAPANESE JOURNALIST: I couldn’t help myself, I cried
Shigeki Tao of the JAPANESE newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun said, “I faced a greater disaster than I could have imagined. While watching the rescue operations, I couldn’t help myself and cried. Turkey did not take the necessary lesson from the 1999 earthquake. It is not enough to make building regulations, we need to apply them correctly,” he said. Emphasizing that the loss of life would decrease if the authorities were more organized and faster in the field operations, Shigeki Tao said, “In some places, victims complain that the rescue efforts are not done well. Turkey needs to learn a lesson from this,” he said. Kahramanmaraş
, Japan, which is an earthquake country and has experienced teams in this fieldShortly after the earthquakes, he sent “International Emergency Rescue” teams to the region and supported the works in the field. While one of the Japanese teams was returning to their country the previous day, it was reported that a second team of 78 people, consisting of search and rescue and health experts for the earthquake victims, continued their activities in the earthquake area.
ARGENTINE TEAM: TURKISH PEOPLE WERE AMAZING
In the 228th hour of the earthquake, the Argentina group, one of the teams that saved a mother and her two daughters, said, “We will not forget what we experienced in Hatay for the rest of our lives.”
We came together with the Argentine search and rescue team, who were among the teams that rescued a mother and her two children, who were rescued at the 228th hour from Uğur Apartment on Oymak Street in Antakya. A team of 35 people reached the region on the second day of the earthquake.
‘THEY MOTIVED US’
Speaking on behalf of the team, Diego Moshe said, “I am a search and rescue professional for 30 years. I took part in very difficult operations. But I have never seen such a disaster in my life. I can’t forget the first days we came. The entire city was destroyed. We rescued 3 people alive, unfortunately we reached the lifeless bodies of 20 people. We experienced great sadness towards the families in the cases we could not save and found dead. The structure of the Turkish people surprised us. They were incredible. They were so warm, loving and grateful. This has been really motivating for us. A mother with a relative under the rubble is trying to give us Food. Everyone who sees us, not only during the operations, but every moment, thanks and acts very warmly. We admired the Turkish society,” he said.
‘WE WILL NOT FORGET HATAY’
“We are now at the end of our mission,” said Moshe. We are here for two more days. On the one hand, we support aid distribution missions. I will never forget Hatay in my life,” he said.
BRITISH NURSE: I fell in love with Turkish people
Nurse Deborah Swann from the British International Search and Rescue Team (UKISAR), who rushed to help Hatay after the earthquake, became the agenda of the social media with the photo she took with a village woman who offered her tea and food in the Earthquake Area And The Message She Gave. Speaking to Hürriyet, Swann explained what he experienced in the earthquake zone:
IT WAS VERY SAD
“I have been volunteering at UKISAR for 10 years. We learned about the earthquake from news channels. From the moment we were informed that we were going to Turkey, we reached Hatay on the morning of 8 February via Gaziantep within 24 hours. It was very sad to see people running around looking for their loved ones among the collapsed buildings. It was a little scary to work through the rubble to save the people trapped in the rubble, especially while the aftershocks were raging.
WE FOUND IT HOLDING HAND
“This disaster was the biggest earthquake we have faced in terms of both the number of people who lost their lives and the number of people our team rescued. In total, we dug 11 people out of the ground alive. The thing that impressed me the most was that we found a couple who lost their lives under the rubble holding hands. I still cry when I think about it, this moment will stay with me for the rest of my life. On the other hand, the generosity of the people of Hatay despite the loss of everything made me very embarrassed. I can say that I am in love with Turkish people.”