Malaga students recount Turkey earthquake fear

Malaga students recount Turkey earthquake fear


The eight trainee teachers had to leave their hotel in Ürgüp in the middle of the night after the fire alarm sounded while they were on a study trip



Wednesday, 8 February 2023, 10:38

A group of eight students from Malaga have described how they were scared stiff by a “strong tremor” from Turkey’s earthquake. They were staying in a hotel in Ürgüp, 300 kilometres from Kahramanmaras, the epicentre of the massive earthquake, when the fire alarm sounded in the early hours of Monday morning.

They told SUR they rushed downstairs and they were "very nervous, because we didn't know how it would end". They had already read on their mobile phone alerts about the first big earthquake. "But there we were outside the hotel: scared, nervous and in our pyjamas”.

They were all unscathed but have witnessed the chaos in the country. "We have been very fortunate, because there were no serious incidents where we were. But we are aware of all this catastrophe and we are saddened". Marta Rodríguez and her classmates Emma, Paula, Elena, Noelia, Cinthia and Virginia are between 21 and 24 years old and study at the La Inmaculada teacher training centre in Granada. They are on an educational trip with a larger group of students from all over Andalucía, and feel lucky that they have been far from the epicentre.

They landed in Turkey on 2 February and are travelling around the country from Cappadocia to Pamukale and then a final stop in Istanbul until next Thursday. Relatives have been in constant contact by Whatsapp. "When they saw the news they were alarmed and worried, but we are fine, although we had our moments of anxiety," Marta said.

Journalism student

Spanish journalism student Ramón Pérez also experienced the destruction of the earthquake. He is currently on Erasmus in the town of Eskiseir, 800 kilometres from the worst of the tragedy. He works for the NGO Proder, which has allowed him to experience first hand how the whole of Turkey has turned its attention to the victims. "One of the tasks the organisation does is to donate clothes and, for example, yesterday, as soon as we heard about the events, we took everything we could to a centre where they were collecting for the people affected," Ramón said.

Thousands dead, injured and missing

Turkey's earthquakes have left thousands dead, injured and missing. They began on Monday 6 February on the border between Turkey and Syria, an area of high seismic activity. The magnitude of the first quake was 7.8, making it the strongest earthquake in Turkish history since 1939, and it has been followed by a multitude of aftershocks, including one of magnitude 7.5. The death and injury toll has risen to at least 5,000 dead and 20,500 injured.

The epicentre was in the Turkish district of Pazarcik in the province of Kahramanmaras near Gaziantep, a city of two million inhabitants, and affected the provinces of Malatya, Sanliurfa, Osmaniye, Hatay, Adana and Diyarbakir. In Syria, Idlib, Aleppo, Hama and Latakia were affected.




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