“They have been the most terrifying moments of my life, I just prayed for it to end”

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Amid the blare of sirens and the blare of helicopters, the Smyrna rescue teams fight against time to rescue those trapped from the rubble. These are the consequences of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that this Friday has hit the Aegean coast of Turkey and the Greek islands with virulence and that already leaves more than a dozen dead and half a thousand injured. In one of the neighborhoods of this coastal city resides Dolores Coronado, a Spanish woman who has lived through some agonizing moments during the earthquake.

Between reply and reply, this professor of Spanish for foreigners at the Izmir University of Economics tells 20minutos who was in a videoconference work meeting when the earthquake began, with its epicenter at 17 kilometers from Seferihisari, on the Turkish coast. “At first, I thought it would be a small movement, like the many there are, but this was stronger and did not end. That’s why I was scared, “she confesses, and explains that, although nervous, both she and her family are in perfect condition.

“It is an area in which you notice earth movements on many occasions, but in my five years here, this has been the first time I have felt fear,” he says. And adds: “The seconds that it has lasted have made me eternalI didn’t dare get up from my chair. Every time there is a little movement, my heart skips a beat. “

“The seconds that it has lasted have made me eternal, I did not dare to get up from my chair”

After the first shock, Dolores and her family have gone down to the street to avoid possible problems inside the house, although in her area, she details there has been no great damage. “You could see on the faces of the people that they were nervous, but, since no buildings had fallen, they have remained calm,” he says, adding that the area has recovered little by little the “tranquility”.

“People kept screaming”

A shattered building on the ground after the magnitude 7 earthquake in Turkey

Also in Smyrna resides Polat Guzel, a Turkish citizen who has lived with anguish the more than 40 “endless” seconds that the earthquake has lasted. “It is not my first experience with earthquakes and these They have been the most terrifying moments of my life. I was praying and praying for it to end, but it did not end, “he says, and emphasizes that the earthquake has not only been very long, but of an unusual duration for the area.

Once the first moments of “panic” have been overcome, this export director of an industrial company tells 20minutos who was in the office when the shaking started. “Noticing it, people started screaming and we recommend everyone to stay indoors. Half an hour later, the authorities allowed us to go home, but I preferred to stay a little longer, “he says.

“These have been the most terrifying moments of my life. I was praying for it to end, but it didn’t end”

“At first, the situation was chaos, the traffic was out of control. The people, who are used to living with earthquakes here, I was terrified due to the duration and magnitude, and the only thing they thought about was meeting with their loved ones, “he says, before adding that, with the hours, calm has returned to a good part of the city. He also explains that quite People have chosen to stay in public places, such as cafes and bars, and many will not go home to sleep, but will stay in open places to spend the night for fear of returning to the buildings.

Crete: atmosphere of “normality”

The tsunami produced by the earthquake washed away several boats in Seferihisar, Turkey.

Although the most affected areas have been Izmir and the municipality of Sigacik, where a small tsunami has occurred, the consequences of the earthquake have also reached several Greek islands. The most affected of them has been Samos, where, at the moment, two people have died. However, in other territories they have also felt the shake, such as in Crete, where he lives Clara Gutierrez.

This Spanish woman recounts that in Heraklion, the capital of the island and where she lives, they have noticed the earthquake, but not with the power with which it has affected Smyrna or Samos. “Everything rumbled. You could tell that everything was moving, but, until we realized that it was really an earthquake, it was difficult for us to react “, highlights Clara, who was in the office when the earthquake started.

Although it is the third earthquake that he has experienced since he arrived on the island, he points out that this has been the largest and confesses to having “scared a little”, although the atmosphere in the city is “normal”. “In Heraklion there are no damages, everything is quite calm here, in Crete”, he affirms, and emphasizes that the people “are not afraid” and have continued with their usual lives.

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