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Frantic Search for Missing Greek Couple After Turkey Earthquake

Greek couple Turkey
Giorgos Antypas and Ninta Antypas are missing after the earthquake in Turkey. Credit: Facebook

Rescuers are searching in the rubble of a building in the city of Antioch (Turkish: Antakya) where a Greek couple is believed to have been buried after the deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday.

Greek diplomats in Turkey have released the names of the missing as Giorgos Antypas, 65 and Ninta Antypas, 62. The couple with Greek and Turkish citizenship lived on the fifth floor of the six-storey building that collapsed.

Relatives are saying they have not heard from the couple since Monday.

The following is a video of the rubble of the Greek couple’s home where a search and rescue operation is taking place on Friday:

Greek couple’s disappearance was communicated by diplomats

News of the Greek couple’s disappearance was communicated over diplomatic channels.

“The Greek Embassy in Ankara was informed, by relatives, that a Greek couple, with dual citizenship, is missing in the city of Antioch. As soon as she received the relevant information or Greek Embassy informed the local authorities and the rescue crews. Efforts to locate them continue,” diplomatic sources said.

The ancient city of Antioch, known in Turkish as Antakya has a  historically significant population of Antiochian Greek Orthodox Christians.

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.

More than 21,000 people died in the earthquake

Hopes of finding many more survivors are diminishing, amid freezing-cold weather four days after the disaster.

However, search and rescue efforts continue in both Turkey and neighboring Syria – which was struck by the quakes as well.

More than 21,000 people have died – most of them in Turkey – after Monday morning’s initial 7.8-magnitude tremor and the hundreds of aftershocks that followed.

There have also been fears of a secondary catastrophe, as many people have been made homeless and are lacking shelter, water, fuel and electricity.

Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan has described it as the “disaster of the century”. Opposition figures have accused Mr Erdogan of failing to prepare for the earthquake and have questioned how estimated 88bn lira ($4.6bn; £3.8bn) raised from an “earthquake tax” was spent.

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