This post originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Cynthia McCormick Hibbert and Sabira Khalili.
Northeastern students with family and friends in Turkey and Syria are learning which loved ones survived, who perished and who is homeless following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked the region Feb. 6.
“My family has been out of their homes since the earthquake struck,” says Alia Salem, 19, a second-year undergraduate student from Syria.
They have been stranded in the streets outside in the cold, says Salem, a Northeastern media and religious studies major with a brother, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins in Syria and Turkey.
“I'm really terrified as I'm all the way here,” she says, “And I can't really do much to help them over there.”
Yunus Bicer, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in computer engineering, says his uncle suffered a broken leg escaping from a building in Turkey with his wife and two children.
One of the adult children, a 23-year-old man, later died from his injuries.
Bicer says he knew the situation was bad when he called and spoke to his sister in the aftermath of the earthquake and found her in tears.
“I thought I should go to Turkey, but I checked the flights because of the emergency situation. Getting there was not an easy thing,” he says.