‘Everything was upside down’: Emirati quake survivors tell of Turkey hotel collapse

Follow the current news on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Three Emiratis who remained in Turkey when the ravaging earthquake hit were caught inside their hotel as the walls collapsed.

Mohammed Al Hrmoodi 26, Majed Abdulrhman, 24 and Ahmed Al Yassi, 26, were asleep in the Northhill hotel in Antakya when last Monday’s 7.8-magnitude quake struck.

” I keep in mind believing that I was being dragged along by a flood,” Mr Al Hrmoodi informed The National.

” Everything in the space fell over and I might hear screams.”


I’ll always remember the screams of a Syrian lady who was stuck under the ground and asked me to not leave her

Majed Abdulrhman

It is thought that lots were eliminated when the Northhill collapsed.

Antakya, among Turkey’s many captivating cities, was left in ruins by the quake, in the middle of worries that thousands passed away there.

The Emirati trio remained in the capital of Hatay province for a sports competitors after flying in from Istanbul.

When the quake struck, at around 4.17 am, they were asleep in their spaces. They woke to discover the structure swaying and the deafening sound of breaking concrete and windows.

” Everything was upside down,” stated Mr Abdulrhman.

” I awakened finding myself on the flooring and when I attempted to get up, I could not.

Syrians gathered around a fire in a shelter in Antakya, Turkey. AP

” I went to the window initially thinking I might leap however there was glass and bricks all over.”

When each of the guys attempted to unlock to their spaces, they found the electronic locks had actually broken, trapping them within.

Mr Al Hrmoodi and his buddies stated they handled to require open the doors to their spaces as the frames were split, however other visitors were caught.

He stated they assisted 2 German guys and a Syrian couple to security, however might hear the screams of others caught in the structure.

” People were yelling for assistance from every side,” stated Mr Al Hrmoodi, a civil servant in Sharjah.

” I broke down the door of the space beside me and Ahmed assisted drag a Syrian guy and a female who we saw hurt in the corridor, however we could not assist the others.”

After leaving the hotel by leaping through the front exterior window, the 3 guys looked for security in a structure next door.

Mr Al Yassi had a deep cut in his hand and hurt legs while Mr Abdulrhman was greatly bruised, experiencing acute pains with every motion. Mr Al Hrmoodi stated he was in some way handled to leave untouched.

Silence after 2nd quake

A couple of minutes later on another trembling hit and the hotel collapsed to the ground. It was then that the screams stopped, the guys stated.

” I kept informing myself that this was a bad dream and to awaken,” Mr Abdulrhman stated.

” This was the minute [when the hotel collapsed] that I understood that I wasn’t dreaming.

” I’ll always remember the screams of a Syrian female who was stuck under the ground and asked me to not leave her.”

He stated he stuck with the lady up until rescuers showed up and started to pull her out. He thinks she made it through.

Temperatures were listed below freezing on the night of the earthquake and the survivors had actually gone out in simply their nightclothes.

” I discovered a closed drug store which was damaged however handled to get some band help to cover Ahmed’s hand, which was bleeding greatly,” Mr Al Hrmoodi stated.

” I got 2 coats I discovered for my good friends,” he stated.

Remembering to take his phone, Mr Al Hrmoodi called a Turkish pal for aid.

They went out of the city and discovered greater ground. Over hours, they attempted to get phone reception and call the UAE embassy in Ankara, and ultimately survived.

” I would decrease from the mountain to attempt to get reception to call the embassy and each time I decreased, I would hear individuals yelling for assistance,” Mr Al Hrmoodi stated.

Over the next 12 hours, the guys handled to get to a safe area and ultimately took a bus to the city of Adana.

” All the damage and individuals shouting and the injuries resembled absolutely nothing you might ever think,” he stated.

Upon arrival in Adana, an agent from the UAE embassy accompanied them to the airport. A medical group from the UAE had actually flown in on a military airplane bring help and was awaiting them.

After the Emiratis were flown house they were instantly considered check-ups and treatment at an Abu Dhabi healthcare facility.

Reflecting on his experience, Mr Abdulrhman stated: “I want I might have assisted them all however they were a lot of– a lot death and damage. I understand we have actually been offered a brand-new lease on life.”

Updated: February 13, 2023, 5: 23 AM


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