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I Grabbed My Wife, Children And Ran Out With Only Pants – Nigerian Man Narrates How Family Survived Turkey’s Highly Fatal Earthquake

February 7, 2023

Johnson explained that he sensed danger when he noticed the crack in his building wall.


Mr Emmanuel Olaitan Johnson, a Turkey-based Nigerian has given a harrowing experience on how he survived with his family the earthquake that killed more than 3000 people in Turkey and Syria on Monday.

Johnson, who spoke with BBC Pidgin, explained that he sensed danger when he noticed the crack in his building wall.

SaharaReporters had reported that quake which had been described as the worst earthquake in the country since 1939 was detected at 4:17am (0117 GMT), according to the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
President Recept Tayyip Erdogan said the disaster left over 5,000 injured and destroyed some 2,800 buildings, and killing more than 2,700 people across a swathe of Turkey and northwest Syria.
The magnitude 7.8 quake brought down whole apartment blocks in Turkish cities and piled more devastation on millions of Syrians displaced by years of war.
The worst tremor to strike Turkey this century came before sunrise in harsh weather and was followed in the early afternoon by another large quake of magnitude 7.7.

But recounting his ordeal, Jonhson said he was dressed only in pants, picked up his children and dashed into the snow without any piece of clothing.

“I was in my building and I noticed it was shaking but I wasn’t perturbed at first. But when I saw a crack in the wall, I grabbed my wife and children and ran out of the house.

“As I speak to you, I and my family are now homeless,” he told BBC Pidgin.

Johnson, a Nigerian living in Gaziantep, one of the affected cities in Turkey, explained that he had just finished watching the 9/11 terrorist attack documentary before the incident began.

According to Jonhson, before my house broke down, I ran inside twice to pick shoes for myself, wife and children and also pick up our documents.

He added that the incident began around 4:17 am in the morning.

According to him, we are dressed in singlets and boxers and my children were walking in the snow with barefoot.

“While I was using my building’s staircase, I almost lost my footing while climbing because of the earthquake’s magnitude and how the building was shaking,” he said.

For safety, he claimed that some people sheltered in sports centres and museums with strong buildings.