Nigerian students recount experiences as a powerful earthquake left thousands dead in Turkey and Syria.
Thousands of people have died and rescuers are racing to pull survivors from beneath the rubble after a devastating earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria, leaving destruction and debris on each side of the border.
Described by experts as one of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in a century, the CNN reported the incident woke residents from their beds at around 4am on Monday, sending tremors as far away as Lebanon and Israel.
For Caleb Olasupo, a student of Political Science at the Gaziosmanpasa University in Tokat, Turkey, experiencing earthquakes in the Transcontinental country is not a new experience.
According to The Times, Earthquakes are not uncommon in Turkey. Most of the country is situated on the Anatolian Plate, which borders two major fault lines: the North Anatolian fault, which stretches across the country from west to east, and the East Anatolian fault, which is in eastern Turkey. The former has been the site of several disastrous earthquakes, according to the Geological Society of London, including the 1939 earthquake in northeastern Turkey that resulted in the deaths of 30,000 people.
Olasupo said “I am very fine although I am devastated by the incident. The incident happened in the border towns. We are already used to the experience but the new students who are just experiencing it may be shocked. Some students are however still scared of what happened but we are getting over it.”
Olasupo isn’t the first Nigerian student to have experienced earthquakes in Turkey. Another student, Abdullah Ansori said, “I know some people were affected, though not Nigerians, but the earthquake didn’t affect İstanbul at all. It’s not like there hasn’t been any earthquakes in İstanbul, it’s just that the magnitude is low, unlike the recent one. Even I experienced one, it was limited to the shaking of the buildings”.
Also speaking with our correspondent, another student, Yakubu Abdullahi who also doubles as the President, National Association of Nigerian Students, Turkish zone said, “Turkey is an earthquake prone area. Some of our new students were traumatised and have been taken in for post-shock analysis. They will be released as soon as they are certified okay. Some of us, the old students are already used to it. Even though we are yet to ascertain the number of students in the affected areas but those of us in other provinces are fine”.