Today, August 17, is the seventh anniversary of the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck northwest Turkey in 1999. The official death toll of this quake stands at 17,000.
Of course there have been many worse disasters between then and now, but this particular catastrophe has a special meaning to me as my grandparents and uncle were living in that area. Four days after the quake my mother and I travelled to Turkey to help out. Amongst other things, I helped a group of Spanish firemen by interpreting for them.
Fortunately we haven't lost anyone from our direct relatives, but, as is almost unavoidable with these things, some people we knew were killed.
With a lot of effort, we managed to get air tickets for my grandparents to Holland, so that they could stay in my parents' home for a while. They went back to Turkey after about three months to live in a different town, and by now have settled into a new life in a new apartment and neighbourhood.
I have made a series of photos of the devastation and also kept a daily log, with the intent of writing a book about this disaster. Until now I haven't, but the plan is still there.
So, are there any other A.netters who would like to share their story about this quake, or another that they were somehow involved with? Have any of our Turkish members been affected by the '99 quake?