Kemal Murat Olur

Hello, I am Kemal. I am fourteen years old.

The day before the earthquake (16th August): there was really oppressive weather, hot and sticky. People who have lived through earthquakes before said that the weather was often like that before earthquakes.

That night: I had gone to bed at 1.15. I had been in bed for about two hours. Our house was in the village of Adliye near Adapazari. Our house is an old wooden house in the village – we go there in the summer. When the earthquake started I thought it was like a train going past, but then it speeded up. My Aunt and Uncle were sleeping in the living room. My Dad and I were sleeping in the bedroom. My Dad woke me up and put me under the bed. At that moment I heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the window and the noise of the neighbours’ hay stores collapsing. Then there was a bigger noise. The minaret on the mosque had collapsed. Then the earthquake seemed to stop. My Dad told me to stay under the bed and ran to see my Aunt and Uncle. The shaking of the earthquake had pushed their two beds together. After easing for a short while, the earthquake started again. It went on for a long time.

There is a water well in our garden, and we all sat round it. Now the earthquake was going on much more slowly. We looked around at the immediate neighbours’ houses, but nothing seemed to have happened to them. We gathered with all our relatives in a garden. The electricity was off. My dad had his mobile phone with him, but all the lines were dead. When it started to get a bit light we went round the village. Six or seven houses had collapsed. But no-one in the village had been killed. At about 10 in the morning news of deaths further away started to come in and just in our little village 24 dead were brought back to be buried. We spent the first day non stop in the graveyard. The evening after the earthquake, my dad and my cousin set off to try and rescue people from the rubble, but all the roads to Adapazari were closed. A bridge had collapsed and closed the road passing underneath it, so they couldn’t go.

The first night after the earthquake we just slept on the ground. On the fourth night we got the beds out of the house, cut down branches and made ourselves a shelter. My Dad had come by chance on the day of the earthquake at about 6 in the evening. On the 27 August for the first time I went to the centre of Adapazari. All the houses had fallen down and everywhere smelt terrible. We wore masks over our faces. On 30 August a tent came for us. A relative had sent it. We set it up and started sleeping in it. Because people weren’t in their houses, there was stealing. They raided one village and three people died.

May god protect everyone

Kemal Murat Olur 
Moda Middle School Class 7-D
Kadýkoy, Istanbul, Turkey

My handwritten story in Turkish

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