Earthquake victims in Turkey's Hatay protest dumping rubble near tent city

Earthquake survivors in the southern province of Hatay’s Samandağ district have protested against the practice of dumping the rubble from collapsed buildings in an area close to a tent city. They said the rubble is dangerous as it contains asbestos.

Photo: Hatay Ecology Platform (@Hatay_Ekoloji on Twitter)

Burcu Özkaya Günaydın / Gazete Duvar

Earthquake victims in the southern province of Hatay’s Samandağ district have protested against arbitrary dumping of the rubble from collapsed buildings.

Victims gathered as per the call of We Will Come Back Platform in the Deniz neighbourhood where the rubble is being dumped. They said the rubble is being dumped in an area that is close to 225 tents of survivors and Milleyha Bird Sanctuary.

Protestors said the rubble is highly dangerous as it contains asbestos, and added “People who have not died from the earthquake will die from asbestos.” They noted that this practice has been continuing despite their several objections. 

“If this practice continues in this way, the people of Samandağ will face new health problems such as lung and pleural cancer,” they said.

They added the rubble is also being dumped in farming areas, polluting fields and resources.

Turkey’s southeastern region was struck by two major earthquakes on Feb. 6, one at a magnitude of 7.7 and the other at 7.6.

According to the official figures, more than 200,000 buildings either collapsed or severely damaged due to the quakes in 11 provinces. The government stopped sharing the information for only collapsed buildings.

The rubble removal work is continuing in the quake-zone and dead bodies are still found under collapsed buildings even after almost two months.

(English version by Alperen Şen)