A Queens neighborhood is grieving the loss of a family who perished in the horrific earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria and have claimed more than 21,000 lives so far.
Burak Firik, 35, his wife Kimberly, 32, and boys Hamza, 2, and Bilal, 1, were visiting family in Elbistan, Turkey.
The initial 7.8-magnitude earthquake occurred 60 miles to their south at 4:17 a.m. Monday didn’t harm Corona inhabitants.
However, no one was ready for the second, which struck their city some hours later.
According to relatives, the Firiks were on the top floor of a five-story structure destroyed by the strong aftershock, which had a magnitude of 7.5. Sema Firik, Firik’s 56-year-old mother, also passed away.
“They made it through the first one. It was awful. But they never dreamed there would be another,” Selma Salazar, 25, Kimberly’s sister, said from the Firiks’ home, where relatives and friends joined her.
On Thursday morning, Firik’s father sent updates to the family during their agonizing wait while they held out hope.
The 60-year-old Nurettin Firik and his wife resided in an apartment on the fifth story while the rest of the family was upstairs in a family automobile.
Salazar said, “He turned back and saw his building collapse.” “Words cannot express what he felt. The machines were unable to enter the space. The roads had problems.
It was a mess. He continued to dig for twelve hours while yelling their names.
After rescuers discovered Burak and his mother, followed by the boys, they informed the Firiks’ family of the tragic news.
Nurettin Firik “lost his home and his family,” Salazar added. “We’re grieving and in anguish.”
Burak had not seen his father in more than eight years, and according to Salazar, he was trying to arrange a visit from his father to the United States.
A GoFundMe has been created to assist since Nurettin Firik is currently homeless.