BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Mervan Ergun, a Bakersfield resident who lost 11 relatives in Turkey’s earthquake set out Tuesday to try and reach his hometown of Antakya, which is among the cities most devastated by the quake.

On Wednesday, he finally reached Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, which was in chaos. With southbound flights canceled because of the damage, Ergun embarked on the remaining 1,100 miles by bus, then on foot, then in a stranger’s car.

After checking on two sisters, he found out a 12th relative, an aunt was also killed. Ergun has joined the recovery effort at the building where his sister, his sister’s husband, and their three children lived on the first floor. All are presumed dead.