SAN DIEGO — Members of a San Diego federal emergency rescue team are on standby for Turkey and Syria earthquake relief.
“Two days I don’t sleep, I don’t sleep well,” Orhan Uz said.
Uz is from southeast Turkey and tried to hold it together as he fought back tears to talk with FOX 5.
Days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake ripped apart southeast Turkey and Syria, it also devastated Uz’s family.
“My brother’s house collapsed already, my sister-in-law she die, my niece she die, my cousins …more than 50 people in my family die,” Uz said.
Uz said his brother tried to get his family to higher, safer ground as they awakened to a shaken Earth.
“He went to balcony to take his son, his wife and daughter. They were on the other floor in bedroom sleeping, he cannot do nothing for them. He fell down the building, he jumped. He broke his arm and his chest,” Uz said.
Uz said he flew to Seattle to pick up his son, who lost his mom and sister in Turkey to bring in to San Diego.
Uz said his other brother is flying into North Carolina to take the nephew to Turkey to try to help.
In Turkey and Syria, the search and rescue grows more desperate in the bitter cold, homelessness intensifying and the death toll rising sharply.
“Over 700 of my building in my hometown collapsed, people outside, we don’t electric, we don’t have food, we don’t have nothing,” Uz said.
Aide Barbat, a San Diego Fire & Rescue battalion chief and California Task Force 8 search and rescue team program manager, says it is difficult when you are waiting to see if a call is coming.
Task Force 8 is on standby ready to pack it up and go. They bring an 80-person team of doctors, structural engineers, hazmat personnel, plus search and rescue teams and dogs. Barbat said they are up for the challenges that are plaguing Turkey and Syria.
“Cold weather, the snow, multiple buildings that have collapsed, the infrastructure a little different than what we do here in the states, some of the building codes are different,” Barbat said.
While emergency teams wait for the official call, Uz is pleading that other people don’t wait.
Click here to help get aid to Turkey.
“The land is shaking, people scared to go inside many houses and everyone is scared,” Uz said. “Please all United States, anybody that hear me we need help, from everyone.”