* Disclaimer: The featured image isn’t from the recent earthquakes.
Early hours on Monday, Feb 6th, 2023, I was awakened with the sound of my bedroom door. At first I thought that it was Gato (our cat) who was trying to open the door so I ignored the noise. Then I felt my bed shaking and I knew what was happening. I immediately left my bedroom and rushed to wake my parents up. During those few seconds, the shaking increased. And within minutes we were all awake and had to leave our place.
While we were all out, I couldn’t help but feel bad that everyone had to wake up from their sleep to this. Some had their babies wrapped in small blankets and it was sad seeing these scenes. Then I realized something, this earthquake came from elsewhere, and I asked myself, “Where did it hit? Turkey or Iran?”
After we got home, and checked the news we saw that massive earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, and affected a few of their neighboring countries. I had expected a big earthquake, but not as big as the ones that had actually happened. It was more damaging than I had thought of. Luckily, it didn’t affect us much in Erbil, but planted terror in our hearts. And we were waiting for aftershocks.
When we got home, one of the first thoughts I had about being awake by an earthquake was, “What if it was stronger?” Every possible scenario ran in my head. It made me think of life and my loved ones. It reminded me of how important it is to not be on bad terms with the people around you and to not stay angry with each other.
I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I had an earlier breakfast and then changed to go to work. There was a sinking feeling that I couldn’t get out throughout the whole time I was at work. My colleagues and students were talking about it and each person giving their opinion. Then around 1:30 p.m. another earthquake hit. At first I thought I was feeling dizzy, but then I saw that we were told to evacuate the school building. It was one of the most dramatic things I’d witnessed in all the years I have been at this school. Luckily, nothing else happened and we were able to send the students home.
But the feeling kept on staying with me. I was anxious and was heartbroken for all the people who lost their lives, loved ones, and homes to this natural event. I couldn’t get the videos and images of the earthquake locations out of my head. And I was feeling worse by the minute for the people who were stuck under the ruins of the houses and the buildings.
I can’t imagine what they are going through right now. Scared of what happened, worried about it happening again, sad for losing their loved ones and everything, hungry, cold, traumatized from it, and not being able to sleep properly. Or how they’re looking for their missing family members. On top of that, the weather isn’t helping either. And even when life goes back to normal, these people will not forget that horrific early dark morning when they woke up to find out what had happened.
Seeing people helping them, the way they can, has been making me feel better. And I hope more help reaches both countries as soon as possible.
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