As the death toll over the earthquake in Turkey and Syria hit over 5,000, the Vice President of the Nigerian Community in Turkey, Enifoma Ubogu, said on Tuesday there is presently no death recorded among the Nigerians there.
He said the Nigerian community was trying to send help, including “20 able-bodied men” to help in recovery efforts with the Turkish authorities.
A massive earthquake struck Turkey on Monday, killing thousands of people.
The magnitude 7.8 quake, described as the worst seismic to hit Turkey in the twenty-first century, pulled down entire apartment towers in Turkish cities.
According to Vice President Fuat Oktay, the death toll stood at 1,541.
“We shook like a cradle,” a woman in Diyarbakir, Turkey, stated close to the ruins of the seven-story building where she lived. We had nine people at home. My two sons are still in the rubble, and I’m waiting for them.”
She was suffering from a broken arm and facial injuries.
According to a group, the number of displaced Nigerians in Turkey is unknown.
Turkey Earthquake: Ex-Chelsea player Christian Atsu, who was retrieved alive but injured Ubogu, told The PUNCH from Istanbul that it was a tragic occurrence.
“Hello Brother,” he said. Hello and good morning. Yes, it is a really sad day in Turkey. Things were completely wrecked by the earthquake. We have information that some Africans may have been affected, but we do not know if any Nigerians were afflicted at this time.
“Another factor is that the majority of Nigerians live in Istanbul and other cities. Hatay is a place where Africans dwell, and it was hit by the earthquake, but we have no credible proof that any Nigerians were seriously injured.
He went on to say that the group planned to send “20 able-bodied guys” to assist Turkish authorities in their efforts to rescue individuals trapped under the rubble.
“But just for your information, as a community here, we are trying to organise to see how we can send support as well. We intend to send up to 20 able-bodied individuals to assist Turkish authorities with recovery efforts.
“Turkey is located in the earthquake zone, and so, it’s a common occurrence here. Before now, there has been quite number of tremors, even in Istanbul. Personally, I have experienced it, you just feel the house shaking, like somebody is trying to remove the carpet under your leg. So, everybody knows that this is a possibility in Turkey and unfortunately, there is really no remedy against these natural events. It is just for us to be prayerful and spiritual.
“At the moment, it’s not in Istanbul and most of the Nigerians are in Istanbul,” he added.