Hussein usually posts videos of himself hanging out with his friends on to his Snapchat, but now his profile shows distressing scenes of attempts to pull people out from under the ruins of a collapsed building.
“All my relatives have died,” he tells Sky News by text.
He explains that everyone in this residential neighbourhood near the Syrian border town of Harim has been impacted by the earthquake that rocked the region on Monday. Many are dead and only some have been rescued from the rubble.
Hussein and his family fled to the countryside in Idlib when the Syrian war forced them to abandon their homes.
“We fled from death to death,” he says.
Everyone who lived in the same building as his family has died, Hussein says, including his young cousin. Those who were sleeping elsewhere survived the earthquake but are now having to live in tents.
“We are afraid,” he says.
As this clip from Hussein shows, the recovery effort in the wake of Monday’s earthquake is well under way.
Where Hussein lives in northwestern Syria is an area already damaged by the country’s war and has been hard hit by this disaster.
It’s harder for journalists to reach these towns compared with locations in Turkey, which is where the quake’s epicentre was located. It’s also often harder to verify images and videos that claim to be from Syria.
But using Snapchat’s map feature, we can see what people who have their location turned on in the app are dealing with: Mountains of rubble; frost on the ground; and bags of food being handed out.
Small charities working in Syria have already turned their efforts to supporting survivors of the earthquake.
The charity Little Hearts shared a video of their work in Idlib. It shows multiple tables covered in boxes containing food and drink, as they prepare huge quantities of hot meals at the same time. The group told Sky News it has also been distributing clothes and blankets.
As those in Syria and Turkey begin to take the first steps towards recovering from this deadly earthquake, the extent of its impact is still unfolding.
This map from the United Nations shows the seismic activity from the first quake and the many subsequent tremors.
The shading on this map reflects the level of seismic intensity there. The redder area, the more intense the tremors were.
The circles show where the tremors happened…
…with the two biggest quakes marked with a star.
This map gives us an idea of the scale of the disaster.
From north to south, the largest uninterrupted area of seismic activity measures 375 miles.
While looking west to east, the largest uninterrupted area of seismic activity measures just over 400 miles.
When we look at the main area as a whole – it shows that almost 100,000 square miles of land has been impacted.
Similar efforts to help victims to those seen on the Snapchat map in Syria are under way in Turkey, as the number of people who have died in both countries is now more than 11,200.
This is how the situation is unfolding in different parts of Turkey.
Kahramanmars is home to around 1.2 million people and is located near the epicentre of the first major earthquake.
Zooming in, the city is on the edge of some of the most severe seismic activity.
Going even closer…
… the bulk of the city is actually in the yellow or ‘strong’ activity zone.
And when we look at the city without the earthquake filter on, all of the buildings highlighted in red have been completely destroyed. The ones in orange and yellow are damaged or possibly damaged.
Some of that building damage can be clearly seen in satellite images, such as these provided by Planet. The streets are also visibly covered in dust and debris.
On the outskirts of the city, a mobile field hospital began treating injured victims of the earthquake on Wednesday. The Turkish ministry of defence posted videos of the temporary health centre on Twitter.
Antayka is the capital of Hatay, a province that borders Syria and is the southernmost point of Turkey.
Seismic activity around it is registered as strong and moderate, as indicated by the yellow and green areas.
Zooming in further and removing the seismic filter…
…the map shows a large number of buildings may be damaged (shown in yellow) with one southern part of the city sustaining significant damage with buildings in red (collapsed) and orange (damaged).
British search and rescue specialists and their dogs flew to Antakya from the UK in order to help the recovery efforts of the city as one of many international crews coming to lend support.
Some believe assistance isn’t coming fast enough, with people in Antakya telling Sky News that there has been a “time-lag” from the authorities, leading to locals having to fight for supplies.
People were forced to light fires on the streets to warm themselves as temperatures dropped overnight from Tuesday into Wednesday.
As complaints over how the Turkish government has handled the disaster increased on Wednesday, access to Twitter from Turkey was throttled. The authorities said they had concerns over disinformation spreading and have previously restricted social media access during other national emergencies, according to internet monitor Net Blocks.
Towards the north of the impacted area lies the large city of Malatya.
The city itself lies in an area of very strong (orange) seismic activity, with even stronger (red) tremors nearby.
As we attempt to zoom in further…
…heavy cloud in the region as shown in this NASA satellite image blocks the view of any pictures of the area since the earthquake on Monday.
This means, like many parts of Turkey, we do not yet have any data on the extent of the damage to buildings in this large city.
Covered in snow, temperatures in this more northern city have caused further difficulties in the wake of the disaster.
With many left homeless after the earthquake, people across the region are having to sleep in tents like this one pictured in snowy Malatya.
Having lost their belongings, many are having to shelter against the cold by wrapping themselves in blankets while they wait for aid to reach them.
Dozens of countries and charities around the world have volunteered aid to the areas affected but attempts to get the help everywhere it is needed is not straightforward.
Most offers of help have been sent to Turkey, rather than war-torn Syria.
The areas impacted by the earthquake cover both government-controlled territory and opposition-held land in Syria. This adds a level of complication to delivering aid in the chaotic wake of a natural disaster.
This map shows which roads the UN and World Food Programme have been able to say are passable, blocked, or partly blocked in order to help rescue and aid logistics in both Turkey and Syria.
While not exhaustive, it shows there is less information on which roads are passable in Syria compared with Turkey.
It also shows that a number of roads are completely blocked, as indicated by the red lines.
Image: Green routes are passable, while orange and red ones are partly or entirely unpassable. The orange, yellow and light green areas show where the seismic activity was recorded, with orange being where the strongest force was felt. Pic: LogIE
As the time to rescue anyone trapped alive under the rubble draws to a close, attention will turn increasingly to how these two countries will recover from this disaster, with some fearing that Syria will struggle to receive as much help as its better connected neighbour.
The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.
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Source : Sky News