“It was like a way to hell!” – Georgian student about California wildfires
14 November, 2018
“It was like a way to hell!” – Georgian student about California wildfires
Up to 50 dead, thousands evacuated, 130,000 acres burnt and 9,000 firefighters mobilized – this is small list of results caused by the latest wildfire in the Northern California. Some towns are completely destroyed. Among them is Paradise.

There are lots of stories told by the affected ones, but for now, let’s see what a Georgian student says about this tragedy.
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Paradise in fire. Photo courtesy: foxnews.com

Tamar Gurevich moved to the USA when she was 3 years old. She tells
us about her story about the California wildfires:
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Tamar Gurevich, Georgian student who studies in the Chico university

“I woke up at 6:30 am that morning. At 7 am I was already in the university. Fire was visible from far distance but in the beginning I even thought that it was the sun, unusually bright. Than everything turned black... After 15 minutes since the lecture had started, university was covered with black smoke. After several hours whole city was in black smoke. I saw in social networks how had people been evacuated from a beautiful city Paradise. The city is 15 minutes away from the Chico University.
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“Fire was visible from far distance… . Than everything turned black”. Photo courtesy: apnews.com

Soon they announced about evacuation of the university and campus so we took all the necessary things and left the city. I returned to my parents. Then I got an e-mail from the university – they were asking us, students of medical faculty, for help those who were injured in cooperation with the Red Cross. I am a future doctor and I consider it as an obligation not to leave people when they need help. So after discussing the issue with my parents, I decided to go back to Chico” – says Tamar Gurevich.

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People are fleeing Paradise city. Photo courtesy: cnbc.com

Paradise after the wildfire


“It was like a way to hell! Red sky, smoke, empty streets… Once a city full of life was turned into a ghost town. It was hard to breath due to polluted air. Even though it was too risky to return there, I could not stay in a warm bed and watch everything from distance. Those who were affected needed me and those who were working with me. Chico is my second home. So when I got there, went to my home, put on uniform and arrived in an asylum where I was appointed by the Red Cross.


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Tamar Gurevich

I was too difficult to watch those who were affected, who lost everything and stayed in the street. There were occasions when I wanted to cry while speaking with the affected ones, but fortunately I managed to control my emotions. Nevertheless, it is hard to calm people, who do not even know if their family members had survived, who lost their homes and the city, where they were born and grew up. The city exists only on the map now!
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Tamar Gurevich

It happened that a man was looking for a family member in our asylum but unfortunately found them dead. Here it was too hard to control emotions, I hugged him and we cried together. I used social networks to help the affected ones. I published a statement on Facebook and Instagram and raised $2700 in several hours. I used that money to obtain essential goods. Everyone tries to help – insurance companies, the Red Cross, ordinary Americans and what is the most important the youth” – Says Tamar Gurevich, the Georgian student of the Chico University.


Author: Lali Patsia
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