Green Bay grad reports from earthquake disaster zone

GB Turkey journalist
Published: Feb. 12, 2023 at 9:16 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The death toll continues to rise as rescue crews dig through rubble in Turkey and Syria.

“We’re still hearing these stories of survival but unfortunately this week I think that’s going to transition into more and more bodies being pulled out,” Priyanka Navani said.

Navani is a Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) correspondent... with a local connection. She graduated from Preble High School in 2014. Before that, she remembers raising money at Red Smith K-8 School for Haitian earthquake relief.

“Perhaps you’ve never met a Turkish person before. Perhaps you’ve never met a Syrian person before. Perhaps you’ve never met anybody from the Middle East but the disasters here are important,” Navani told Action 2 News.

The United Nations Refugee Agency reported Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide. The agency said there’s currently more than three million registered Syrian refugees in the country, plus hundreds of thousands from other nationalities.

“One of the most devastating outcomes of this earthquake is that people who came to this country to restart their lives and who have seen this country as a haven for the last ten years of the Syrian War are facing all of this devastation once again,” Navani explained.

She spoke to reporter Emily Roberts on a zoom call around 10 p.m. Turkey time, even panning the camera to show cracks in her hotel room wall. She said they’re likely from aftershocks still rattling the countries.

“Some of our colleagues were on an app group saying, ‘did you feel that?’ These aftershocks are going on multiple times a day. Since the earthquake happened I think there’s been about two thousand aftershocks.”

Navani’s live reports from the earthquake zone for TRT World News begin Monday.

“We have this curiosity to just get to know people and get to know their stories and that’s just what wakes us up in the morning.”

Destruction and horror scenarios in Turkey