No amount of training, according to a firefighter who saved lives in Turkey, could have prepared her for the devastation she saw.
Since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck, more than 41,000 people have died as a result of it.
A 77-person team sent by the UK Foreign Office to Antakya included five Welsh firefighters, including Emma Atcherley of Bedwas, Caerphilly.
She remarked, "You're their last hope to find their loved ones.
Family members are waiting for news on all the streets outside the buildings, so there is also emotional pressure, she continued.
Her team included four search dogs that were sent to the Hatay province, four medics, a structural engineer, and firefighters from all over the United Kingdom.
According to Ms. Atcherley on Thursday, "our main goal was to look for people who were still alive in the rubble and rescue them.".
"The destruction in the world. is astounding," she said. "Some buildings have fallen on their sides, while others cover entire streets. ".
Despite the fact that its members come from various fire services, the team regularly engages in exercises and collaborates to ensure they have the bond necessary to work effectively.
No amount of training, in her words, "can possibly prepare you for the emotional toll and the damage that we've seen.". "You do experience performance pressure. " .
The team had to act quickly because the first 72 hours of a rescue phase are crucial, she said.
The team also listens, shouts, and asks people to shout back or knock on things. Rescue dogs are trained to sniff out people who are still alive.
When we realize that someone is inside, Ms. Atcherley said, "it's all hands on deck to find them.".
She remarked that finding someone was "incredible.". It's an excellent feeling. ".
"There were a ton of people lying around. Everyone from the neighborhood would show up, and there would be people everywhere looking for survivors out of anticipation. ".
Eight people were saved by her team, and three more were discovered by their dogs and pulled from the wreckage by other teams.
It takes a while to perform the rescues because the people are buried deep inside the buildings. To get them out, you must determine their location and how to reach them safely by tunnel, according to Ms. Atcherley.
The group operates in shifts.
"Once we've located someone, we'll keep working until we free them. Great if it takes four hours.
"If it takes 20, that's how long it takes. ".
When you see people reunited, it's a beautiful thing, Ms. Atcherley said.
"We are incredibly proud of everything we've accomplished and the lives we've changed.