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Watch: Euronews international correspondent Anelise Borges with a Turkish earthquake relief team

origin 1Anelise Borges, international correspondent for RockedBuzz via Euronews, accompanies a rescue team in Antakya, Turkey, 11 February 2023 ©RockedBuzz via Euronews

Against all apparent odds, rescue teams in Antakya battle their way through massive piles of rubble in dangerous and seemingly endless missions. They are guided by the hope of finding survivors, five days after Monday’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck parts of Turkey and Syria.

I was invited to accompany one of these missions and we were able to film as the Turkish team, many of them volunteers with no previous experience, shoveled and sifted through the rubble looking for any signs or sounds of survivors.

Check out our movie above

A five-story building had been reduced to a pile of concrete slabs and twisted metal, but for four hours, rescuers worked, convinced they’d heard noises.

They called for silence in the street, straining to hear, hoping they could communicate with someone trapped below.

And then, at this crucial moment, a sudden cry from above: a warning that a dam had burst outside the city. Rescuers scrambled to flee the scene.

But eventually they realized it was a false alarm. Turkish officials accuse the looters of spreading disinformation, hoping to cash in on the ensuing chaos.

Once the alarm had expired, the search resumed with specialist equipment and the assistance of family members who tried to explain the plan of the building before the disaster.

Nurdan Yilmaz was among them.

He told us: “I am waiting for my brother, his wife and their children. I’m hopeful, because there are survivors who came out of the rubble alive. I haven’t lost my faith.”

But despite all the hopes and faith of the family and rescuers, the mission was to end in sadness and despair when a body was recovered from the scene. It seemed that the miracle they had hoped for was not going to happen that night.

And the pain that was already immense grew just a little bit bigger.

As if the wave of pain and destruction that is engulfing this country does not want to recede.