TEVEKKELI/TEPEHAN, Turkey (Reuters) -Drone footage in southern Turkey showed fissures slicing and cracking across fields, roads, streams and hillsides, caused by a massive earthquake that struck the region at the start of the week.
One jagged scar of bare and cracked earth, opened up by Monday’s quake, cut deep into embankments and ran along expanses of open land up to the horizon near the town of Tevekkeli, in Turkey’s southern province of Kahramanmaras.
When it hit a highway, it smashed the tarmac and metal barriers. Huge boulders had tumbled down the hills on the side of the road.
Drivers had to wait in turn to navigate the fractured route.
Near the village of Tepehan, huge gorges cut through groves close to a house, leaving islands of grey-brown land and trees perched on the edge of new precipices. Other trees lay uprooted on their sides.
Mehmet Temizkan said the tremors woke him in the early hours of Monday morning.
“With the initial panic, nobody knew whether we could leave home or whether we could survive. We lost hope. In the morning, when we saw what happened here, we said this must be the epicentre,” he told Reuters
The combined death toll from the deadliest quake in the region in two decades that struck southern Turkey and Syria stood at more than 22,000 on Friday.
Rescue crews saved a 10-day-old baby and his mother on Friday after they were trapped in the ruins of a building in Turkey and dug several people from other sites as President Tayyip Erdogan said the authorities should have acted faster.
(Reporting by Issam Abdallah and Antonio Denti; Writing by Ben Dangerfield and Andrew Heavens; Editing by Edmund Blair)