Turkey’s massive earthquakes have seen a homeless undertaker move with his wife and four boys to live next to the cemetery where he works in the city of Iskenderun. Ali Dogru relocated his family from their damaged apartment to the cemetery immediately following the February 6th earthquake, afraid for their safety.
Since then, the family has been residing inside an abandoned bus.
Dogru worked as an undertaker at the cemetery for over six years, burying about five corpses per day.
Following the earthquake, the number of incoming bodies increased considerably and Dogru claims to have buried twelve individuals on the first night alone, with him arranging the burials of 1,210 victims within ten days of the disaster.
He told Al-Jazeera: “As a butcher, I used to see people bring lambs in their arms to be sacrificed.
“It hit me very hard when I saw people carrying their children, their partners.
“All I wanted was one thing: to work day and night to finish this job. I didn’t want people coming and saying that the bodies were not buried.”
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake killed more than 52,000 people in Turkey and Syria last month.
Meanwhile, floods have struck two Turkish provinces that were already devastated by last month’s powerful earthquake, raising the death toll in the new disaster to 16.
Last week’s flash floods caused by torrential rains turned streets in the provinces of Adiyaman and Sanlifurfa into rivers on Wednesday, sweeping away cars and inundating homes and campsites sheltering earthquake survivors.
Most of the deaths occurred in Sanliurfa, where rescuers on Thursday found the bodies of two people who had been reported missing amid mud and debris left by the floods. The search teams there were still looking for one missing person.
In Adiyaman, two people drowned after a container home sheltering a family of earthquake survivors was washed away by surging waters.
Adiyaman and Sanliurfa were among 11 Turkish provinces that were hit by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on February 6, killing more than 48,000 people in Turkey and an estimated 6,000 people in northern Syria.
Meanwhile, a moderately strong earthquake shook a city in northeast Turkey on Thursday, sending people out into the streets in fear.
The magnitude 4.8 earthquake was centered in the city of Bolu, some 260 kilometers (162 miles) east of Istanbul.
Bolu’s mayor, Tanju Ozcan, told HaberTurk television there were no reports of damage to any buildings in the city but said many people rushed outdoors in fear.
He said medics had responded to “one or two” panic attack cases. A few people were also injured after jumping from balconies.