Turkey: How I, family escaped earthquake – Nigerian survivor 

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Emmanuel Olaitan Johnson, a Nigerian who survived the earthquake that killed over 5,000 people has narrated how he and his family members escaped.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey on Monday, had a devastating effect on felt in Syria, which shares border with Turkey.

Speaking with BBC Pidgin, Johnson said he knew all was not well after he noticed the crack on the wall of his building.

“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 Johnson, “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.

Death toll hits 6,000

At least 8,000 people have been rescued from debris in Turkey with 380,000 taking refuge in shelters, said Turkish vice-president, Fuat Oktay.

Associated Press reports that many people have posted to social media to plead for assistance for loved ones believed to be trapped under rubble, with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency quoting interior ministry officials as saying that all calls were being “collected meticulously” and the information relayed to search teams.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said 13 million people among the country’s population of 85 million were affected in some way. He has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces in order to manage the response. Turkey said it would only allow vehicles carrying aid to enter the worst-hit provinces of Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman and Hatay in order to speed the effort.

Turkey has large numbers of troops in the border region with Syria and has tasked the military to aid in the rescue efforts, including setting up tents for the homeless and a field hospital in Hatay province. The defence minister, Hulusi Akar, said a humanitarian aid brigade based in Ankara and eight military search and rescue teams had also been deployed.

The death toll has reached 6,000 with the search for survivors ongoing, according to the Associated Press.

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