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Turkey, earthquake. Survivors’ accounts, survivors, waiting for rescue under the rubble

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I thought I wouldn’t be able to survive – recalls Mehmet Cicek, 68, who spent 14 hours trapped under the rubble. He said he didn’t know what happened to his wife. He survived by squeezing into the gap between the wardrobe and the bed, reported the Turkish portal Daily Sabah. Another survivor, quoted by the media, said that neighbors pulled him out of the rubble. Fortunately, his relatives suffered only minor injuries.

Mehmet Cicek lived in Hatay Province in the southeast Turkey. As soon as he felt the tremor, he jumped off the bed and knelt between it and the wardrobe. It only took a few seconds for the building he lived in to collapse completely.

– I was sleeping next to my wife when it all started. I called her to jump to the other side, to the space next to the bed, but she apparently stayed on it, “he told Anadolu news agency on Tuesday. He added that he did not know what happened to her.

– I could only move my feet when I was trapped under the rubble. It’s really a miracle,” he recalls. At some point, he saw a light and tried to get to it.

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Rescue operation after the earthquakeERDEM SAHIN/PAP/EPA

Freezing rain was falling. “I moved my fingers so as not to freeze”

I screamed but no one heard me. Then I heard screams myself. Still later, two young women climbed onto the rubble. They heard me, he said. He added that the women had slid a water bottle into the narrow space where he was trapped. “They said they’d let me know where I was.” But they left and didn’t come back.

For a long time no one came. Mehmet Cicek heard freezing rain fall on the rubble. – I kept moving my fingers so as not to freeze. I thought I wouldn’t survive. Eventually the rescue team arrived and saved me.

“We tried to reach each other but we couldn’t”

Another earthquake survivor, Rasit Durmen, says he fell off his bed when the tremors began. He remembers grabbing his 13-year-old daughter while his wife grabbed her twin sister.

– I was trapped under the rubble with my daughter, but we were not next to each other. we screamed. We tried to reach each other but we couldn’t. Concrete blocks were falling on us, he said. Neighbors heard their cries for help and pulled them to safety. Durmen has broken legs and is in hospital, his family has suffered minor injuries, Daily Sabah reported.

Earthquake in Turkey and SyriaPAP

The tragic death toll is growing

On Monday at 4.17 local time (2.17 in Poland) south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria a violent earthquake shook. The original quake had a magnitude of 7.8. They were followed by at least 20 aftershocks. Tremors were also felt in EgyptLebanon and Cyprus.

Earthquake death toll, which hit south-eastern Turkey and north-western Syria on Monday exceeded 9.4 thousand. There are more than 40,000 injured in total. Search and rescue operations are still underway in both countries.

Main photo source: ERDEM SAHIN/PAP/EPA

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