Local News

Turkey Earthquake Survivor Uses Internet To Tell Loved Ones He Is Alive

Posted August 19, 1999

— People all over the world are using the Internet to get the latest reports from Turkey, and some earthquake survivors are letting loved ones and family know they are alive through e-mail.

The Internet was designed to survive disasters. That is why messages often get through even when phone systems are damaged.

Much of Turkey has been devastated by the quake and killed or injured thousands people. People use the Internet to tell their stories and follow the recovery efforts.

There were more than 40,000 people in Carter-Finley Stadium for the opening ceremonies of theSpecial Olympics World Summer Games. Imagine all those people getting killed after a 45-second earth-shattering quake.

The enormity of the death toll is staggering. More than 10,000 are known dead and perhaps another 35,000 are dead under the rubble.

An e-mail to Lauren Hauser, of Raleigh, from her brother, Brad Nuckolls, let her know he was alive in Istanbul. "I am okay. Oh, my God! An earthquake is the worst thing I can ever imagine. I will try to get to the Internet cafe and tell you more, if it's open. It's like a war zone here, and I can see the fires from the other villages because of all the quakes around me.

"I woke up with the whole apartment shaking, and I jumped up, and I knew right away that it was an earthquake. Everyone ran outside screaming. People were jumping out of windows, and I was not sure what to do because no one could speak English."

Major Internet media sites file reports as search efforts continue. There are Turkish language sites for members of the international Turkish community.

TheFairfax County Virginia Fire and Rescue team's Web sitecarries news of miracles.

Marines fromCamp Lejeuneare on their way to help and are due to arrive Saturday.

Natural disasters like this cross political and cultural boundaries. There is the uneasy feeling that it could happen to us.

Hauser is thankful her brother is alive but knows the ground is still unstable. They spoke by phone this morning.

"He was having to sleep outside and that it was very, very hot, and people were very scared. I think yesterday he had experienced 90 aftershocks," Hauser said.

Hauser says her brother plans to stay in Istanbul where he teaches first grade at aninternational school.

Istanbul was not as heavily damaged by the quake as Izmit and other cities.

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