UAE: Syrian, Turkish expats reach out to families back home as earthquakes strike region

1 month ago Khaleej Times

UAE: Syrian, Turkish expats reach out to families back home as earthquakes strike region

They made frantic calls to their loved ones to check on their whereabouts in the wee hours of Monday

Photo: Anadolu agency

Photo: Anadolu agency

By Nandini Sircar, Syed Ayaz Basha, Nasreen Abdulla, Lamya Tawfik

Published: Mon 6 Feb 2023, 3:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Feb 2023, 3:29 PM

Many UAE residents woke up worried this morning as news of a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday.

They made frantic calls to their families and friends back home to check on their whereabouts.

People in Turkey, Lebanon and Syria were jolted out of their sleep in the pre-dawn hours.

UAE residents who spoke to extended families and friends said their kin narrated how buildings were flattened and strong aftershocks continued.

Osama Ojjeh, Dubai resident since 2013, whose wife lives in Syria, says he was extremely tense this morning.

“My wife and my grandmother are still in Damascus. As soon as I woke up, I heard the news, and I called them both. They were sleeping at that time. They said the whole house was shaking. They woke up and couldn’t sleep after that as aftershocks continued up until 6.30am. They felt dizzy, I was extremely worried that it might hit another time. When I heard the voice of my wife, it was such a relief to know that she was holding up as well as she could in the given situation. It was the first time that she experienced an earthquake, and it was a very strong quake and extremely scary for everyone. I really hope that all the injured are now rescued and taking care of,” says Ojjeh.

UAE expats said that their families told them that rescue workers searched for survivors, cutting tangles of metal and giant piles of concrete, at many of these Middle Eastern cities.

R.S, a resident originating from Lebanon, said, “It was very scary back home. It reached 4.7 on the Richter scale and the earthquake lasted for about 40 seconds, at around 3.17am. My family stayed in the bathroom for 10 minutes and we had some broken glass as well. I know that many people slept in their cars and those who went out had to deal with a very stormy and rainy night. It was more the scare than actual damage.”

“In Tripoli, people started firing gunshots to wake up those who were sleeping to get them to leave their apartments, because the buildings are very old there,” R.S added.

Dubai resident Faten spoke of her relief at having been able to contact her family in Syria. “As soon as I heard about the quake I called my family,” she said. “They live near Lattakia.”

According to the Syrian expat, her family spent the wee hours of the morning on the streets. “When they felt the quake, they went down to the street. It was very cold and raining a lot in my city. But thankfully, they didn’t face any major difficulties. Only a few balconies in their house were slightly damaged. I am thankful that they are safe.”

Faten also managed to speak to her friends in Turkey. “My friends live in Istanbul,” she said. “I have been able to speak to them and luckily they are all safe.”

Turkish resident, Erdal Acar, who has been living in Dubai since 2005, says, “I have my parents and friends back home. I spoke to them. I am glad they are all doing fine. My parents live in a place called Batman."

Erdal Acar

Erdal Acar

"There they felt the tremors from the quake, but it wasn’t as bad. But in cities like Diyarbakir, which is only 45 minutes away from where my family lives, it was really bad, with rescue teams rushing people on stretchers. Other affected areas in Turkey include Hatay, Gaziantep, Kilis, Malatya, Maras, Adana, Adiyaman, Osmaniye, Mardin, Urfa that witnessed severe tremors with buildings tumbling down like house of cards.”

Syrian expat Mohammed Yaseen said he spoke to his parents and siblings in his hometown of Tartus. “Everyone rushed outside,” he said. “They spent the whole night outdoors fearing for aftershocks. I spoke to them in the morning and they were about to go to sleep because they were not able to sleep at night.”

Yaseen said he was concerned for those who were closer to the epicenter of the quake. “Our area did not have a lot of damages,” he said. “Just a few old buildings had some cracks. But I’m praying for those whose entire houses and livelihoods have been destroyed.

Faris Ahmed, a Syrian expat residing in Dubai, said that it was unfortunate and prayed for the well-being of the affected families. He along with his friends has taken up the initiative to help those who have been impacted.

“I am from the central part of the country and thank the Almighty that it is safe there. However, we are coming together to help the affected persons with medical and food supplies,” said Ahmed.

He adds, “My friends are in touch with people back home who can help us reach the needy.”

Continue reading...

Read On "Khaleej Times"

More News On "Khaleej Times"
27 days ago - Wayne Shorter, jazz legend and N.J. native, dead at 89 27 days ago - What to make of Grant Williams’ surprising DNP in Celtics-Cavs matchup 27 days ago - Grading the Canucks’ Trade for Filip Hronek 29 days ago - McGhee's dramatic buzzer beater lifts Dragons into NSIC championship game 29 days ago - Buster Posey has heartfelt Scott Cousins message 12 years after collision 29 days ago - Ravi Shastri Settles Shubman Gill vs KL Rahul Debate With A Blunt Verdict 29 days ago - AMA vs KOT Dream11 Prediction, Fantasy Cricket Tips, Dream11 Team, Playing XI, Pitch Report, Injury Update- Navi Mumbai Premier League T20, Match 2 29 days ago - Murdoch admits some Fox News hosts 'endorsed' false election fraud claims 29 days ago - LaMelo Ball breaks ankle, latest setback in rough season 29 days ago - Ball fractures ankle in Hornets’ 117-106 win over Pistons 29 days ago - Avalanche examining trade market — The Fourth Period 29 days ago - Knicks deliver statement with stifling win over NBA-best Celtics 29 days ago - Who are Jimmy and Dee Haslam, reported new Milwaukee Bucks co-owners? 29 days ago - Celtics vs. Knicks takeaways: C's go ice-cold from 3 in frustrating loss 29 days ago - UNC Basketball: Photos from win at Florida State 29 days ago - Butler's acrobatic layup, 23 points lead Heat past 76ers :: 29 days ago - NBA roundup: LaMelo Ball breaks ankle in Charlotte’s win over Detroit 29 days ago - Murdoch says some Fox hosts ‘endorsed’ false election claims 29 days ago - Drunk flyers getting unruly led to tighter rules: AI CEO 29 days ago - UNC Men’s Basketball Holds Off Florida State Rally, Wins Final Road Game 29 days ago - UCLA Set to Host LMU, Michigan in Midweek Battles 29 days ago - Minus Timo Meier, Sharks host new-look Canadiens 29 days ago - Elon Musk Reclaims Top Spot on Billionaires List 29 days ago - No. 9 UConn still standing ... barely ... as sole regular-season champion of Big East 29 days ago - Breaking new ground, video game engages with Holocaust 29 days ago - John Oliver Goes After SF-Based OpenAI and Its ChatGPT Product: ‘The George Santos of Technology’ 29 days ago - HAGENS BERMAN, NATIONAL TRIAL ATTORNEYS, Encourages Catalent (CTLT) Investors with Substantial Losses to Contact Firm's Attorneys, Securities Fraud Class Action Filed - Catalent (NYSE:CTLT) 29 days ago - Florida State fights hard on Senior Night, but this time the comeback bid falls short 29 days ago - How do you talk to a whole country about COVID-19? Use a GIF. 29 days ago - 1 killed as tornadoes rip through Oklahoma, California braces for more snow 29 days ago - Austin Police Department staffing crisis: 77 officers could retire by end of March as vacancies pile up 29 days ago - Alec Baldwin sued by three Rust crew members who suffer from anxiety PTSD and have blast injuries 29 days ago - Assessment Covid-19 leaked from Chinese lab is a minority view within US intel community, sources say 29 days ago - Quinta Brunson, Kevin Jay Anik’s Relationship Timeline 29 days ago - Sydney World Pride: Here’s what you need to know ahead of Harbour Bridge closure on March 5. 29 days ago - Reddit Has a Must Read Thread About The Worst Things People Have Seen at Disney World 29 days ago - Courteney Cox snubbed by ‘Friends’ at Walk of Fame star ceremony? 29 days ago - No. 1 CSI draws Snow College in Region 18 opener: 'It'll be a hard game' 29 days ago - Rochester organization working to prevent adverse childhood experiences 29 days ago - ‘Friends’ star Courteney Cox didn’t think Hollywood success was ‘possibility’ growing up in Alabama 29 days ago - Winds shred Southern Plains; California set to get more snow 29 days ago - Robbins: Zelenskyy & Navalny heroes for standing up to Putin 29 days ago - An Arizona driver was charged after plowing into cyclists, killing 2 and injuring 17 29 days ago - DeSantis clemency only option for ex-death row inmate after Supreme Court denial 29 days ago - Rupert Murdoch admits some Fox News hosts 'endorsed' false election fraud claims 29 days ago - Nolan Gould: What Happened To The Modern Family Star? 29 days ago - Chip 4 Alliance: Senior officials finally meet to discuss semiconductor supply chain 29 days ago - Zero-calorie sweetener linked to heart attack and stroke, study finds 29 days ago - ‘American Idol’ Alum Adam Lambert Made a Lana Del Rey Song Sound Like Led Zeppelin on His New Album 29 days ago - Student Association meets with Micron to potentially develop a partnership 29 days ago - Hornets vs Pistons: How to Watch Live Stream, TV Channel, NBA Start Time 29 days ago - ‘Hoping for a miracle’: Fundraiser for family of Angus man seriously injured at Collingwood-area work site raises more than $31K 29 days ago - Disney World’s Self-Governing District Now Under State Control 29 days ago - JD Vance, Sherrod Brown demand EPA, CDC start health screenings in East Palestine after train derailment 29 days ago - UConn women's basketball guard Nika Mühl surpasses Sue Bird's single-season assist record 29 days ago - Messi, Putellas headline FIFA Best award winners as Kerr makes World XI 29 days ago - Florida Governor Strips Disney of Special District Control 29 days ago - DeSantis signs bill that gives him more control of Disney’s special district 29 days ago - Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors – 2/28/23 Free Pick & NBA Betting Prediction 29 days ago - Maple Leafs answer Lightning by making trade with Blackhawks
free geoip