Citizens spent the night in the freezing cold without tents, a group of officials from Turkey's Human Rights Association (İHD) said after visiting the southeastern province of Van, which was jolted with a 6.0-magnitude earthquake centered in Iran on Feb 23. Nine people lost their lives in the city as a result of the quake.
Joined by İHD Van Chair Murat Melet and administrators, the group noted the lack of tents, heating equipment and resources for the earthquake victims.
"No tents, containers or any other shelter were provided last night. Families spent the night in the open air next to a stove," Melet said, noting that no relief packages were distributed either.
"They hid their kids in large chests to protect them from the cold."
Noting that the tents were being set up during the day Feb. 24, Melet said that the residents' livelihoods were also at risk since their animals had been left unattended.
"The animals are all alone [in their barns] since there's no one to watch them if they leave. Citizens wait in front of their homes because the animals need to stay in the barns," Melet said.
The İHD committee visited with earthquake victims and participated in the funerals of the nine people who lost their lives.