Dr. Mazen Kewara, Turkey director of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), spoke live on CNN from near the earthquake’s epicenter in Gaziantep, where he and his family were taking shelter in their car.
Kewara said that their car was the safest place for them to be at present.
“We cannot use the buildings anymore. Maybe for hours. Maybe until tomorrow. I don’t know.”
Turkey continues to be struck by aftershocks – some nearly as strong as the initial earthquake – meaning it is not safe to be inside.
“Next to my building, about 200-300 meters, there’s a collapsed building. There are many buildings that have collapsed in Gaziantep,” said Kewara.
SAMS is a medical relief organization, working in Syria and neighboring countries. But their efforts to provide support will be hampered by the damage to buildings.
“We have four of our hospitals damaged severely by the earthquake. We have evacuated two of them,” said Kewara, who is originally from Damascus, Syria.
The ongoing aftershocks will make it “very, very, very challenging for us as a humanitarian organization to be able to respond” to those in need.
For now, Kewara and five others remain sheltered in his car, waiting for the tremors to stop.