BULL RUN, Va. (DC News Now) — A Prince William County man is headed to Turkey to be with his family after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the country.
Zaid Mastou has several bags packed with survival gear for himself and others. He said many people are sleeping on the streets with no place to go.
Mastou’s sister, who survived the Syrian war, escaped a collapsed apartment building after Monday’s massive earthquake in Turkey. But his mom is still missing.
“Thinking about my sister, about my mom. The moment that happened you know, how was she feeling, how hard was it for my mom?” Mastou said through tears.
His mom was in a different room from his 15-year-old sister, who miraculously escaped what’s now a pile of rubble.
“The whole building collapsed. She was protected by a wall. She started to scream and then like she pushed a little bit, she made it out herself,” Mastou said. “She told me that only her and then two little girls also were taken out of the whole building that was full of people.”
More than 3,400 people are dead in turkey and Syria after an earthquake and aftershocks toppled thousands of buildings.
“Because of what happened yesterday a lot of buildings were damaged and now they’re scared to go back,” Mastou said. “They are in the streets literally. They’re in the street.”
Mastou booked a one-way ticket to Turkey to be with his sister and brothers and try to get answers about his mom.
“I want to be with my brothers and sister You know, I want to support them emotionally,” Mastou said.
He collected what he could from friends locally, but can only carry so much to help others right now.
“I just took a few items personal items for me and I have full bag of emergency stuff,” Mastou said.
His focus is now on his sister.
“Want her to have a better education. She is smart. She is very good in school,” Mastou said. “She speaks English fluently, even with an American accent.”
It can take a decade to bring a sibling to the U.S., but Mastou won’t give up hope that it will happen very soon.
“I’ll try my best,” he said.
Mastou will fly to Istanbul — about a nine-hour flight — and then drive another 16 hours to reach his family.