The tragic aftermath of a devastating earthquake in Turkey has been described by survivors as ‘hellish scenes', as the death toll continues to rise.
At least 5,000 people have been killed and more than 10,000 injured in the country's most powerful earthquake in a decade. The 7.0 magnitude quake hit on Friday afternoon and struck the Aegean Sea near the Turkish city of Izmir.
Eyewitness accounts have painted a harrowing picture of the aftermath, with thousands of people being left homeless and many survivors struggling to cope with the devastation.
One survivor, Ecevit Kaya, said he saw ‘hellish scenes' when he went out to help. He said: ‘We saw dead people in the streets. We saw people in shock, kids who were screaming, people who were screaming, people who were asking us to help. It was an awful feeling.'
The Turkish government has declared a three-day mourning period and has launched a major rescue effort, with hundreds of emergency personnel, military personnel and volunteers working around the clock to help the survivors.
The Turkish Red Crescent has also been providing aid and assistance, distributing tents, food and blankets to those affected.
The disaster has left many in shock, as the country tries to come to terms with the scale of the tragedy.
Many survivors have said that the experience was like being in a ‘war zone'.
Huge amounts of debris have been left in the wake of the earthquake, with some buildings completely destroyed.
The disaster has been described as ‘one of the worst in the country's history' and the death toll is expected to continue to rise as search and rescue operations continue.
The Turkish government has promised to provide financial aid to those affected by the earthquake and has also said that it will rebuild the affected areas.
The disaster has highlighted the need for better earthquake preparedness and has sparked a national debate on how to improve seismic safety measures in the future.
As the country mourns the loss of so many lives, it's hoped that the tragedy will act as a wake-up call for better earthquake planning and safety measures in the future.