A month on, quake survivor family picks up pieces

STORY: Havva Arslan, her husband and their three children survived for five days trapped under the rubble of their five-storey apartment building.

That the whole family got out alive is a rare story of survival in the town of Nurdagi, southern Turkey, where most buildings either collapsed or are marked for demolition, and tremors still rattle.

The Arslan family were trapped in total darkness with no food or water.

They had the body bags ready for us too, she says, but we survived.

They lost their home - and 36 of their relatives - but Havva is grateful they've got each other.

"We were a well-off family. We had two homes and a car. We were thankful to God for all that. And we are thankful now, that all my kids are safe. I have no fears now that my family is beside me."

It has been barely two weeks since the family was discharged from hospital and they're still retrieving what they can of their belongings.

But they now have a container home where they're trying to resume some sort of normal life.

Their cat Badem was found hiding in a cabinet.

The kids are studying online and authorities are setting up a tent school nearby.

Eldest daughter Fatmagul is hard at work preparing for university entrance exams.

Havva's husband, Hasan, an accountant, says clients are calling again and he will soon receive a printer and computer so he can get back to work.

"We learned how to be human stuck under the rubble. If God gives us more time to live and there is another earthquake somewhere in Turkey, we are ready to help in any way possible. If I have two pairs of socks, I will send one pair there. If I have two jumpers, I will send one there. I will send money. We learned how to be humans when we were under the rubble. Because, whoever we meet now, people touch our lives. Everyone has asked whether we need anything or if we have any problems."

The death toll in Turkey from the earthquakes has risen to nearly 46,000 with more than a million people have been left homeless.