British earthquake survivor tells of Turkey horrors

Turkey: Brit emotional as he discusses aftermath of earthquake

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A British survivor has shared the harrowing experience of being caught in this week’s devastating earthquakes. Timothy Whiting, 29, was visiting Antakya when two monster earthquakes measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter scale shook southern Turkey. The border town was nearly levelled on Monday, Mr Whiting said, with buildings scattered across once picturesque streets.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he said the streets are strewn with pieces of concrete and glass.

The software developer, who has lived in southern Turkey for the last five years, said he saw no help from local authorities.

He said: “I was in the city for 10 hours, and there were no visible search and rescue efforts underway.”

Mr Whiting added that people turned to “grabbing the debris from buildings” to smash them against others in a desperate bid to recover survivors.

His pictures from the scene showed an alleyway blocked by rubble, with pieces of neighbouring homes scattered across the ground.

He described the area now appears as if “a whole war had happened in a matter of seconds”.

He felt the tremors while inside his building and walked out into a “completely different world”.

Mr Whiting said the most haunting aspect of his experience was the noise coming from survivors.

He said one woman was “making the loudest sound” people in the Middle East only make at weddings and funerals.

He added that another was running barefoot through the streets while yelling: “Get there, my family’s gone, they’re gone.”

Mr Whiting added: “Multi-storey blocks were flattened and that was really distressing because you just knew every single block had tonnes of people under.”

While Turkey has received significant support from the international community, many residents are struggling without assistance.

Quake-hit residents are becoming angry over the national government’s perceived inaction.

Speaking to the BBC, a woman named Arzu Dedeoglu from the southern Turkish Numune district of Iskenderun said her two nieces were stuck under rubble.

She said help was yet to arrive more than a day after their building collapsed, adding: “They are gone now.”

Ms Dedeoglu questioned why rescuers couldn’t have “come earlier”.

Others have made similar claims on social media, stating officials failed to reach some of the worst-hit regions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has admitted to some failings on his government’s part.

The premier toured parts of Turkey today and visited locations housing people seeking refuge.

Speaking to reporters, he said there were “problems” getting help to those in need.

He added: “We had some problems in airports and roads, but we are better today. We will be better tomorrow and later.”

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