Wednesday, August 18, 1999 Published at 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Your latest experiences from the earthquake zone
News Online users continue to tell us of their experiences in the aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey.
The situation here is now moving from shock and panic to a lingering fear -
small aftershocks still continue, but none as large as yesterday - and to a
desire to do whatever possible to help. The large international company that I
work for is busy organising relief efforts with both individual employees'
contributions and worldwide company donations. We have arranged for a crane,
doctors, and first-aid trained employees to join in the search for survivors at
hard-hit Yalova, as well as for translators to help support the incoming
international emergency teams, and teams to buy basic supplies for the survivors
in need. I've been spending my day helping to check that our employees are
safe, and to develop plans for us to provide support for those affected by the
As the scale of the tragedy emerges, increasing numbers of people who felt a
fleeting relief yesterday morning learn of friends or relatives that remain
unaccounted for, or who have been affected by the disaster. In a country with
little specialised equipment immediately available for disaster relief, we all
know that the more time passes without news from our missing friends, family or
colleagues, the less likely it is that we will ever see them again. We need
large-scale international help to have any hope of finding many survivors in the
rubble, but by the time they arrive it may well be too late.
I have to agree with anybody that points to building practice, shoddy
building materials and the mismanagement of local city governments as
THE principal cause of the tragedy occurring here in Istanbul right now.
As someone trained in architecture, I was shocked to see the poor state
of the construction sector here in Turkey. Buildings are built like
houses of cards with no regard to their safety or use. Simple brick,
concrete and steel construction techniques that produce boxes on top of
boxes makes these structures so stiff that they can't stand any lateral
forces. They all just crumbled underneath the pressures of the quakes
dynamic energy running across their structural skeletons.
I live in the western district of Istanbul about 3 miles from Avcillar and the worst part affected of Istanbul, although further away from the epicentre than the city it lies on the fault line therefore it experienced a more severe shock.
We experienced several smaller aftershocks for a couple of hours but I have not re entered the apartments on the advice of the emergency services, and I spent last night camped by the large Buyukcekmece lake, we now have electricity and a phone service, hence the e mail.
The people of Turkey are by nature a very proud and friendly nation, yet again they have been dealt a cruel blow by nature.
I hope that God one day smiles upon them.
I was sleeping when the earthquake was started and then I suddenly woke up jumping over my bed and stood up while praying until it stops. I was so cool and did not panic and just watched out of bedroom. As I was alone in my house I was so scared however, I did not think to run out of room, just waited for it to be passed over. This was the most powerful earthquake I have ever seen. I hope that we don't see any longer such an earthquake and I'll never forget it. Thank God! and thanks for sharing my memory with me.
I can't believe it. I'm living
There has been a veritable ''earthquake'' of fear since yesterday morning. Relatives of those in the affected region have no means of contacting their loved ones and although Izmir was not especially effected basic water and electric services were affected throughout yesterday.
Please help to stop the fire in the oil refinery in Izmit which is called Tupras. 5 minutes
ago I have seen at the news that the fire is being spread out and it is expected to
explode if it can not be stopped. I have seen that Turkish fire extinguishing planes are
not sufficient to stop it. If it explodes we are very afraid to live another catastrophe. We are
expecting help from US and European countries for this fire.
The first thing in the morning I tried to contact my family. It was a huge relief to learn that they were OK, but my heart is still hurting when I read the news about over 2000 dead people. I cannot stop thinking about them. I just wished I were there to do anything, anything at all I could do to help. I will try to do my best from thousand miles away. I am mourning for my citizens with all my heart and soul...
I truly understand
what those poor people
in Turkey are going
through. Living through
earthquake is by far
one of the most frightening
experiences I have ever been t
through. After living in beautiful
southern California for over 10 years I moved
out of the state after the 1994 Northridge
quake! My prayer are with all
the residents of Turkey.
I woke up at 3am.
I felt that the bookshelf is moving towards me. The apartment was shaking and making strange noise. I got up and ran to the living room. Also other members of my family came to the living room. We held the sides of the main door as well as each other. Then, there was a few second silence and earth stopped moving.
But it began again. We decided to leave the house as soon as possible, during next break. The electricity went off.
We took candles and walked downstairs from our apartment on 10th floor.
Everyone was out. My hands were shaking. For a while I could not believe that it was over. We took the car and drove to Sariyer - a suburb of Istanbul near the sea where there are less high buildings. After 5 hours we returned back home.
We felt very happy to be ok. When I watched tv I started feeling very sad -- I was chosen to live -- so many others were not.
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