“We thought it was an apocalypse”: how they experienced two powerful earthquakes that shook Turkey and Syria

Residents of some of the cities hit by Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria described shock and fear at two such large aftershocks in quick succession.

epicenter of the first 7.8 magnitudewas located near the Gaziantep, in southeastern Turkey. Second, from 7.5 magnitudehappened about 128 km north, in the province Kahramanmaras.

Both left on the balance sheet at the moment more than 2,000 dead and thousands of wounded.

It was 04:17 local time when Erdem, who was sleeping at home in Gaziantepin the south of Turkey there was one of the strongest earthquakes in the history of the country.

“I have never felt anything like this in 40 years of my life,” he says. “We were shaken at least three times with great force, like a baby in a cradle.”

People got into their cars to escape the damaged buildings. “I assume that not a single person in Gaziantep is home right now,” Erdem says.

More than 200 km to the west, in Adana, Nilüfer Aslan was convinced that he and his family would die when an earthquake hit their fifth-floor apartment.

“I have never seen anything like it in my life. We rocked for almost a minute,” he says.

“[Le dije a mi familia] “There’s an earthquake, at least let’s die together in the same place”… That’s the only thing that came to my mind.”

When the earthquake stopped, Aslan ran outside – “I couldn’t take anything with me, I’m standing on the street in slippers” – and found that four houses around him had collapsed.

under the rubble

In Diyarbakır, about 290 kilometers east of the quake, people took to the streets to help rescuers.

Getty Images
Sanliurfa, Turkey.

“The screams were everywhere,” the 30-year-old told Reuters. “I started collecting stones with my hands. My friends and I carried out the wounded, but the screams did not stop. Then came the troops [de rescate]”.

Tulin Akkaya, also from Diyarbakir, says she was still trying to recover from the first quake when the second hit.

“I’m so scared. I felt it so strongly because I live on the top floor,” he told the AFP news agency.

“We ran out in a panic. I can’t go back to my apartment now, I don’t know what will happen next.”

Melisa Salman, who lives in Kahramanmaras, said living in the quake zone meant she was used to “shaking” but noted that what happened on Monday was “the first time we’ve experienced something like this.”

“We thought it was the apocalypse,” he said.

Halis Aktemur, another resident of Diyarbakir, was among the first to arrive on the scene after the collapse of the city’s first major building, joining others in helping to pull survivors out of the rubble.

“We managed to save three people, but two died,” he explained. “After the second earthquake, I can’t go anywhere. I think they’ll need my help again.”


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Diyarbakir, Turkey.

In another part of the city, Muhittin Orakchi says that seven members of his family were buried under rubble.

“My sister and her three children are there,” he told AFP. “And also her husband, her father-in-law and her mother-in-law.”

wait in the cold

In Malatya, Turkey, 25-year-old Ozgul Konakci walked out of his house with his family and saw five other buildings around him collapse, leaving his neighbors trapped under rubble.

“They are still trying to save them, but that was a long time ago. it’s cold and it’s snowing. We don’t know what to do, we are just waiting,” he says.

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Getty Images
Sanliurfa, Turkey.

“Some wanted to go back to their homes because it was too cold, but then we felt strong tremors and they went out again. At least they were able to get clothes for our children too.”

She adds: “We were just worried about not having clothes to keep our kids warm.”

Waves of the wounded in Syria

A large number of buildings collapsed in Syria Aleppo, about two hours from the epicenter of the earthquake.

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Getty Images
Jandaris, Syria.

Ziad Hage Taha, director of the health department, said the injured “came in waves” after the disaster.

The death toll is estimated at 470 people.

Local residents described the fear and confusion caused by the earthquake.

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Getty Images
The earthquake triggered numerous landslides and destruction in Aleppo, Syria.

“Paintings were falling off the walls inside the house,” a resident of the Syrian capital of Damascus told Reuters.

“I woke up terrified. Now we are all dressed and standing at the door.

In the video in the city of Azaz, rescuers manage to rescue a baby from the rubble of a destroyed building.

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Author: BBC news world
Source: La Opinion


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