A Greek couple with dual citizenship has been found dead in the city of Antioch (Turkish: Antakya), which has been affected badly by the earthquake which devastated parts of Turkey and Syria on Monday.
Thousands of people have been killed across both countries as the death toll continues to rise. The situation is likewise grim for the survivors, many of whom have lost their homes and are facing cold conditions with inadequate shelter.
Antioch, the provincial capital of Hatay, was hit particularly hard by the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.8. The humanitarian situation in the city is particularly dire because it hosts a large population of refugees who fled from the Syrian Civil War.
Greek couple found dead
A Greek couple who went missing in the city of Antioch was found dead, buried beneath the rubble of their apartment building, according to a report by ERT.
The couple, who were in their 60s, went missing on Tuesday. News of their disappearance was quickly communicated via diplomatic channels. The Greek Embassy informed local authorities and rescue teams diplomatic sources said earlier this week.
However, when rescue teams did find the couple it was already too late and they had been killed under the rubble. The body of the man was reportedly found first, followed by his Syrian-born wife a while later.
The couple lived in the ancient city of Antioch, known in Turkish as Antakya. A historically significant population of Antiochian Greek Orthodox Christians still live in the city and elsewhere in the Levant.
Rescue teams from multiple countries, including a Greek EMAK contingent, are actively searching for survivors in the Hatay Province and other earthquake-stricken parts of Turkey and Syria. However, as time progresses, the likelihood of finding survivors decreases.
Impact of the earthquake on Antioch
According to reports by the international media, help has been slow to arrive in the city and many residents were left wondering whether aid from either the Turkish government or the international community was ever going to come. Now, however, the streets are reportedly gridlocked with ambulances and energy response vehicles.
It is believed that more than 1,000 buildings in Antioch were destroyed by the earthquake. Satellite images show entire tower blocks reduced to rubble. Many of the 400,000 inhabitants have been forced to live in makeshift shelters.
The humanitarian crisis has been made worse by the fact that a large population of refugees from Syria lives in Antioch, which is only 70 miles (113 km) from the Syrian border.
“Nobody digs them out, nobody. Antakya is a ghost city. Nothing there, no life at all,” said Assalah Shikhani, a Syrian refugee living in Antioch who was left homeless a second time after the earthquake.