Day 165, 06/02/2023 Earthquake

I woke up in the early hours of the morning, 4.20 am, to be exact, in my bed in Kayseri. Drowsy I sat up, woken up by something, something I was not able to fathom. Sitting upright, I looked at the time 4.20 – the room around me was moving, in disbelief was I watching my surroundings – was I dreaming? The whole building was shaking – was moving, back and forth back and forth. Suddenly I understood, what was happening and I started praying, praying to the universe, praying to god. I jumped out of my bed and walked towards the living room, the walls surrounding me were jumping up and down, up and down. Frightened, I looked at my father, who sat on the floor of the door frame, recording the living room’s chandelier, moving around in circles, as if it was possessed. An earthquake had hit Kayseri.

Unsure what to do, I starred at my father. Eventually, after minutes passing, the shaking subsided. In shock, I walked over to the window, starred down, down from the ninth floor. Down there, I saw more and more people leaving the surrounding apartment blocks. ‘Is it not saver to go outside?’, I asked watching the people leave. My father pointed out, that we are unable to use the lift, during an earthquake and nine flights of stairs, was more than Babaanne’s legs could handle.

I grabbed my phone and googled ‘earthquake Kayseri’. In disbelief I starred at the screen – a 7,8magnitude earthquake, had hit the Gaziantep region. I starred at the screen, thinking of the words, I had written in my journal, the night before – before closing my eyes and waking up to this. With my visa expiring soon,my growing wish to carry on with this journey and also with having had a lovely time with my father, I had planned to carry on cycling, in the past week- carry on cycling to Gaziantep. Due to sudden snowfall and freezing temperatures however, my leave, had been delayed and felt uncertain, which had left me feeling worried and stuck. Yesterday however, I reminded myself to trust the universe, reminded myself, that the universe had a plan for me and that I am, where I am meant to be. I got goosebumps thinking of those words, as I was aware with better weather conditions, I certainly would have been in Gaziantep right now. Thank you universe!

Thinking of Gaziantep, I checked in, with my bike touring friend Marco, who currently was in Gaziantep. Luckily Marco was unharmed. We exchanged our experiences, when he suddenly said ‘there is another one’, scared I looked at my father, announcing the bad news. Seconds later the earthquake had reached us. The walls and the floor were trembling – the apartment block swinging threateningly, like a blade of grass in the wind. With terror in our eyes, we looked at each other, waiting for it to pass. I tried to imagine, the strength of the earthquake, in the epicentre and suddenly, was aware of the extent, of the destruction, it would have caused.

After the second tremor, we decided to leave the apartment block, via lift. At this stage everybody was fleeing, on to the streets. We sat in the car and drove to a car park next door, where we thought we might be safe, in case of a building collapsing. While thick snow flakes fell from the sky, we spent hours in the car, reading about the destruction the earthquake had left behind, which left me feeling helpless and miserable. My prayers and thoughts were with the victims.

When Babaanne needed to pee, she had decided it would be best, to crouch down next to the car, to do so. My father and me protected Babaanne from curious onlookers with blankets, when suddenly Babaanne fell.While I was worried about Babaannes well-being, my father cracked up laughing, about the absurdity of Babaanne lying bare bummed in the snow. I was fighting to not break out in laughter myself.

After having spent hours in the car, we finally decided to go back upstairs. Emotionally drained I went back to sleep. When I woke up I felt shocked, scared and sad. With no appetite and trembling knees, we ate breakfast, reflecting on the events, in the early morning hours. On tv and social media, we sorrowful, followed the events in the epicentre and surroundings.

After breakfast I sat at the kitchen table, doing some life admin, when suddenly the earth started to move again. Frightened I screamed. This earthquake was more powerful, than the one before. In terror, I starred at the clock, swinging from one side to another. Eventually it subsided.

Once again, we got dressed to leave the apartment behind. On the street, panic had spread, pale faces jumped into the cars, people cried and the roads where blocked with cars trying to leave the town. We drove towards the village, leaving the towering apartment blocks of the city behind.

Due to being worried another earthquake could strike, during the night, we decided to stay in the summer house, up in the village. My father went out, to buy coal, as the house was freezing. We then cooked potatoes, on the oven, which we ate with labne. The mood was quiet. Babaanne my father and me went to sleep, on the couches in the living room. While writing this, thick snowflakes are continuously falling from the sky, my father is snoring next to me – and there – is that the earth moving again?! Just when I get ready to wake them up, it softens, or is it now just in my head?

So long – görüsürüz from Krinardi!

I want to thank the universe for protecting my family and me. My thoughts and prayers are, with the people, who lost their lives, my thoughts and prayers are, with the people, who got injured and with everybody affected by this tragic disaster. Pray for Türkiye, pray for Syria!

9 responses to “Day 165, 06/02/2023 Earthquake”

  1. Dear Madeline, thank you for your story and to know that you and your family are safe. A most frightening experience indeed. Our prayers and thoughts with all in Turkiye and Syria. XXV


    1. Hi Vera, thank you so much. Luckily we are safe. So tragic, feeling so helpless… pray for Türkiye and Syria


  2. Nachdem ich die Nachricht vom starken Erdbeben in der Türkei gelesen habe war ich sehr besorgt um Deine Sicherheit und um Deine Family. Ich danke “dem Universum” wie Du es immer sagst Madeleine das Dir und Deiner Family körperlich nichts passiert ist und ich bete darum das alles gut wird.
    Danke für Deine Informationen, alles Gute liebe Madeleine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Franz, vielen Dank für deine liebe Nachricht und deine Sorge um mich. Es ist eine Tragödie und sehr traurig. Man fühlt sich machtlos.09$@@


  3. So relieved that you are all safe Madeleine. I cannot imagine what the people of your region are going through. You must feel so helpless .. stay safe. 🚴‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Guy, yes feeling incredible helpless and heartbroken. It is difficult to watch the tragedy, being so close, but still unable to do anything. Greetings from 🇹🇷


  4. I’m glad to hear you all are safe. Prayers for all.

    Liked by 1 person

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