A touch of normality

by Ruth Bücker, 2011/10/31

Little Ravea is two years old, healthy and seems to be externally unharmed. And she is already able to smile again, which is not a matter of fact only one week after the earthquake of past Sunday. Ravea ran away in order to escape the rubble of collapsing buildings and that saved her life.

In the meantime, both Ravea's mother, whose legs got caught below collapsing ruins, and the little girl herself have recovered once more. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

"It was a terrible day for the entire family", reports the child's uncle, Coskun Bayram. "When Ravea's father called me, he was deeply upset and said he couldn't find his children."

Ravea and her older brother had been playing in the street in front of their father's greengrocer's shop, immediately besides their own home, which collapsed completely. When their house collapsed, the father himself could leave his shop in time, but with all the dust and chaos he could not find his two children.

"As long as we weren't interrupted due to the network braking down, we were talking on the phone all the time. When he finally shouted that he saw his children running in the street, I was incredibly relieved. None of us will ever forget this terrible day, even though it held a happy end for us."

None of the inhabitants of the Van Province will probably be able to forget Sunday, October 23, 2011 in the near future, in particular not the inhabitants of the city of Ercis. The day of the devastating earthquake, one week after which it is certain that at least 582 persons died during the disaster. Thousands were injured. The majority of houses in Ercis is no longer inhabitable.

Rescue measures and the search for survivors have been stopped officially. In some places in the city centre, people are still searching for buried earthquake victims. But after such a long time, no one can believe any longer that these persons still have chances of survival. Despite the sorrow and the shock it is now time to take the next steps towards future.

The gym on the outskirts of Ercis, which has been turned into a medical centre is attended by several hundred patients per day in need of treatment. Children with severe burns, which they sustained at the camp fires or makeshift radiators that have been set up for warmth, are treated by the humedica mission team members and local assistants, who change their dressings.

Her uncle wrote the date of the day when everything changed on the girl's cheek. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

Our medical teams treat both inhabitants of the adjoining tent city, who come to see us with common colds, cough or qualms of weakness, and injured of car accidents who are taken to us by the local ambulance team. Besides the makeshift emergency department, local honorary assistants also set up several tents at the former sports centre, where our in-patients can recover their strength step by step and under medical supervision.

Slowly, there seems to be a touch of normality returning to the disaster region in and around Ercis. At least it looks like it from the outside.

But we know that this is only a superficial assessment of the situation when thinking of little Ravea, of Özcan and his family, of rescue assistant Bekir and all the other affected persons and assistants. The question if - after living through all these experiences and seeing all these images - they will be able to live a normal life ever again, is a completely different one.

Please contribute to our support, which is now intended to help the people take the next steps into a secure future. The people here need accommodation for the winter and support with reconstructing and equipping their houses. Offer support in Ercis together with us from Germany. Thank you very much.

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Earthquake Relief Turkey”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can achieve great things by means of a little text message: send the reference DOC to 8 11 90 and you will make a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica disaster relief projects.

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