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Tuesday, August 17, 1999 Published at 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK

World: Europe

Eyewitness accounts from Turkey quake

Dramatic and moving accounts from people in the Turkish earthquake zone have been flowing by email into BBC News Online. Click here to share your experiences.

The British Consul in Istanbul, Neil Frape describes waking up to the earthquake
This message came from a reader in Istanbul: "The quake struck Istanbul pretty hard also - my house was quite vigorously shaken up and moved around, but nothing was broken.

"The most nervewracking part has been the aftershocks - at least 30 so far, some fairly strong.

"Many Istanbul residents have been outside since the quakes started, sitting by the Bosphorus drinking chai or just gathering in an unplanned social event with their neighbours outside their apartment buildings. I've never seen Istanbul so busy at 6.30am!

"Electricity is still out, but since my office building has a generator I'm now sitting on the 18th floor of a high-rise building hoping Turkish earthquake-proof architecture lives up to its name.

"There have been three noticeable aftershocks just in the last half hour, but the building shakes and sways quite gracefully - rather like being on a ship.

"I keep my fingers crossed - and think of those in Izmit."

'Crunchy noises'

Turkey Earthquake
Kaan Baloglu wrote from another affected part of the country: "I'm living in Eskisehir which is 200km away from Izmit, and which is neighbour of Ankara.(not Anakara). I was on the Internet chatting with some friends at about 3.00. Suddenly the monitor started shaking.

"I was going to write, 'There's an earthquake here', but the electricity went off. I threw myself onto the bed. My room was shaking and there were some crunchy noises coming from the walls. It lasted about 20-25 seconds. (I'm not sure).

"My mother who was asleep at that time woke up. I heard many sirens of ambulances. I thought the epicentre was Eskisehir. Then we left our apartment.

"About an hour later a weaker earthquake was felt. (There are still minor earthquakes being felt). Everybody was out. A police car announced that the earthquakes might go on and the public had to go in clear areas, such as parks.

"Now it's 7.28. I heard that a seven-floored apartment had collapsed in Eskisehir and two people had died. Many people are injured."

'Scared and worried'

Nicole Stallwood wrote from Istanbul: "This morning I woke up and everything was shaking. I didn't know what was going on and I was very scared. My father came into my room and told me to get dressed quickly and get out of the apartment.

"When we came out there was a lot of people already standing outside. They were also very scared and worried in case there was an aftershock.

"My mother was very afraid because we were next to the apartment blocks and she thought that they might collapse if there was an aftershock. My family and I went to stand in an open area because we thought it would be safer.

"A friend of ours came and fetched us and took us to Crown Plaza in Atakoy, Istanbul. The people here are still very scared and we have been warned that before 9am our time, there will be another big earthquake.

"As I am typing this e-mail I can feel the tremors shaking the building. It is very frightening. I have never been in an earthquake before. It was so powerful that when it first started I was thrown out of my bed."

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Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

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