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Marine Martirosyan

Aleppo Resident on Quake Aftermath: “Unimaginable Fear and Chaos”

Aleppo resident Hovig Shehirian tells Hetq that Armenians in the Syrian city are still in danger following yesterday’s devastating earthquake that hit the region.

Shehirian, a journalist and translator who lives in Aleppo’s Nor Kyugh (New Village) neighborhood, says the aftermath resembles the devastation caused by terrorists who blew up residential areas prior to recent civil war.  

He says that after the quake hit people living in his building fled to the streets outside for safety. He describes the scene as one of unimaginable fear and chaos.

“One of my neighbors was forced to throw their child into my arms. He said let my baby live, telling me I’m responsible for the kid,” Shehirian says.

Residents returned to the building hours later, thinking the aftershocks would decrease. A strong aftershock followed, forcing them outside again. This time, they gathered in local Armenian school’s yard. (See top photo). Shehirian says hundreds of people are still there, waiting to see when it will be safe to return home.

Shehirian’s building, damaged in the civil war, still stands.

He says that many are trapped under the rubble, using their mobile phone to call
for help.
“They’re not able to remove them because of the sanctions. Syria doesn’t have the
necessary equipment. The hospitals lack medicine. It’s a catastrophe.”

Shehirian says Armenia was one of the first countries offering assistance and Aleppo Armenians hope the government in Yerevan will follow through on its promise.

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