November 23, 2011
2011 has been a less than forgiving year for the entire world with respect to natural disasters. On Sunday, October 23, Turkey was hit by a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake and suffered further damage from aftershocks.
But despite the devastation, the country has seen many stories of survival, including Ferath Tokay, a 13-year-old.
More than four days after the first earthquake, rescue teams and concerned civilians continued searching frantically for any survivors. On Friday, October 28, rescuers pulled Ferhat from the rubble of a collapsed building where he had endured 108 hours fighting for his life.
From a field hospital, he appeared conscious and looking at his rescuers, reported USA Today
There were no further details of his status available, but being conscious and aware are excellent signs.
The late October earthquake
that ravaged Eastern Turkey has left nearly 600 dead, 2,300 injured, and has made thousands homeless.
Emergency officials said 187 have been rescued from the rubble. About 2,000 buildings have been destroyed and authorities declared another 3,700 buildings unfit for habitation, reports said
Germany, Romania, Russia, and Japan are just some of the countries extending aid to Turkey. Food is being supplied and residents unaffected have set up soup kitchens to feed the now thousands of homeless. Tents are being provided for as many people as possible until better temporary housing is found.
"It's getting colder, my kids are coughing. I don't know how long we will have to stay here. We were not able to get a tent. We are waiting to get our own, said Sermin Yildirim. She is a mother of twins and expecting another child soon. Her family shared a tent with relatives until they were able to get their own.
$50 million was pledged to Turkey to aid in recovering and rebuilding by Saudi King Abdullah. More aid pours in as the days continue and the world is aware of Turkeys need in their time of crisis.
While Eastern Turkey lost a large portion of their infrastructure and communities, stories of survival such as that of Ferat Tokay encourage the people to rise up. It will be a long road to recovery for the country and those who survived remember the fallen as they begin to rebuild their lives.