People trapped underneath rubble after several massive earthquakes struck Turkey on Monday have been tweeting and live-streaming their pleas for help.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck at 4.17am local time at a depth of about 11 miles near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, which is home to around two million people, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by a number of aftershocks, including a 7.7 magnitude quake in the same region.
The tremors have destroyed hundreds of buildings. With emergency lines overwhelmed, many of those trapped by falling buildings took to social media to ask for help.
One young man in the city of Antakya posted a video on Instagram from his pitch-black bedroom. In it, he can be heard screaming into the phone and asking if his mother, who was sleeping next door, was still alive.
“Mum, are you OK? Please tell me! Are you next to your bed or what? Mum, are you OK? Our building has collapsed. We’re in Hatay, Antakya,” he screamed.
In another video, a middle-aged woman filmed herself and another woman who had been trapped under a pile of bricks and cement blocks.
“Look, sister, look, we’re in a terrible situation!” the woman was heard crying. “Look at the ceiling right above us! Look at the pipes.”
Others took to Twitter to document their suffering and call for help.
A young woman named Seyma, from Gaziantep, wrote: “I’m at home with my family, and we can’t get out… Six of us in the living room. The walls can fall on us at any moment.”
Later, she described how her uncle managed to get them out with the help of a digger.
Social media users in south-eastern Turkey posted messages on social media before falling silent as their phones ran out of battery.
Muzaffer Bilsin, an illustrator from the town of Pazarcik in the Kahramanmaras province which appeared to be close to the epicentre of the earthquake, tweeted from his home in the early hours on Monday: “I removed the wall above me and saved my brother. But my family is still inside: It’s quiet, and no one has come yet.”
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