B.C. woman loses husband, more than 20 relatives in Turkey earthquake

A Rossland, B.C., woman is sharing her story of tremendous loss, as she says her husband and 24 other family members died in the earthquake that struck the Turkey region.

The woman, Cheryl Forest, said she was originally contacted by her sister-in-law, who delivered the tragic news.

“My sister-in-law informed me that two of my children’s cousins had passed away,” Forest told Global News. “That’s when it became real.”

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The news for Forest got much worse when she was then informed that 24 more family members, including her husband, Midrap, had died. All were at an engagement party in an apartment building that collapsed in Adiyaman.

“It’s not losing just my husband, it’s half of the family over there. There are more than 20 people within our family that we’ve lost because they were all in one apartment building,” Forest said.

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“That night, some of them weren’t even supposed to be there.”

Forest and her children moved back to B.C. five years ago and fortunately were not in turkey at the time. The family is now trying to process the overwhelming grief.

“I’ve told my children to do what they need to do (in grieving),” she said. “My daughter is off school for a while. Nobody can focus on anything. My son’s taking a break from work.”

A B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development official has set up a GoFundMe for the family.

Click to play video: 'Burnaby Search and Rescue team helping save lives in Turkey'

Burnaby Search and Rescue team helping save lives in Turkey

The death toll in Turkey and Syria from the earthquake that struck five days ago has surpassed 25,000.

Turkey’s president on Saturday raised the death toll in his country to 21,848, while in Syria, the reported number of dead was 3,553 in government and rebel-held areas.

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Some 80,104 people have been injured in Turkey alone, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, speaking in the city of Sanliurfa. A few survivors are still being pulled from the rubble, however, more than 130 hours after the quake.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Search & Rescue team waits to be called into action in Turkey'

Vancouver Search & Rescue team waits to be called into action in Turkey

— With files from Associated Press

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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