by Xinhua writer Wu Siyu
HATAY, Türkiye, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Having traveled over 8,000 km, I made it to the worst-hit Hatay Province with a Chinese rescue team after the charter flight we took arrived at southern Türkiye's Adana Airport on early Wednesday morning.
As the airport was not fully staffed, the rescuers started unloading emergency items on their own upon arrival. Four hours later, at 8:40 a.m. local time (0540 GMT), we left the airport for quake-hit regions by bus.
It was a precious short break we could take on a tight schedule before performing search and rescue missions.
As we approached the destination, the road was packed with emergency vehicles, with worsening conditions. Colleagues ahead of us warned of a steeper slope with more curves, cautioning against driving too fast.
The sound of alarms repeatedly emanated from the vehicles and rippled through the nearly paralyzed highway, along which strung damaged or collapsed buildings. Poor phone signals began stalking us.
After a five-hour drive, we arrived at a stadium 115 km from the airport. Rescuers started working immediately after we camped at the stadium's parking lot at 3 p.m. (1200 GMT).
Editor's note: A powerful earthquake struck southeastern Türkiye and northern Syria on Monday. Thousands of people are confirmed dead across Türkiye and Syria, with numbers expected to rise. The earthquake destroyed people's homes and local infrastructure. Relief items and supplies are pouring in. Search and rescue efforts are underway.
Journalists of Xinhua News Agency rushed to the epicenter and reported first-hand observations of the seismic event.■