“I can’t sleep, I’m just shaking,” Malkia Strikers star Veronica Adhiambo says of her harrowing experience of the earthquake in Turkey.
The Kenyan international volleyball player has marked herself safe following the devastating earthquake that ripped through Turkey and Syria on Monday morning.
But, while she hasn’t suffered any physical injuries, the earthquake has dealt the Turkish-based Adhiambo a big psychological blow even as the death toll continues rising in both countries.
According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years, struck 23 kilometres east of Nurdagi, in Türkiye’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometres.
Tarsus, where Adhiambo plays professional volleyball for Turkish 1 Ligi side Tarsus Belediyespor, is about 194 kilometres away from Nurdagi where the impact of the 7.8 magnitude quake was felt most in Türkiye.
The 23-year-old joined Tarsus from Kenya Pipeline in October last year after impressing at the 2022 FIVB World Championship with the national team.
Speaking to Nation Sport Tuesday on phone from her Turkey base, Adhiambo recounted her Monday morning experience when it happened around 4:20am.
“I was asleep when I suddenly felt the bed shaking. I heard the doors banging and the windows slamming open as the trembling persisted. I could hear things falling in the kitchen. Initially, I thought it was my roommate who was cooking or something,” narrated Adhiambo of the horrific incident that lasted three minutes.
According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, the provinces that felt the quake “intensely” across Türkiye were Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Malatya and Adana.
Despite no deaths having been reported in Tarsus which is located in Mersin province, her team has left nothing to chance with players having been huddled together on Monday night at the team’s offices.
“On Monday noon, we experienced another tremor but it was not as intense as the earlier one. Yesterday (Monday) night, all players were told to sleep at the team’s office just as a safety measure to ensure we are all together in case of anything,” revealed Adhiambo.
The uncertainty surrounding the earthquake has led to the postponement of their Sunday match against Lima Spor Kulubu.
“We were to resume training on Thursday but I am not sure if we will even be able to train. We have already been informed that our weekend game has been moved since we were the hosts so it’s just a wait-and-see situation.
“The whole town has come to a standstill and everyone is in panic mode just waiting to relocate if things get worse,” she said, adding that the heavy rains in her town have not made things any better.
Adhiambo has been in rich form for Tarsus in the second tier league where they are ranked ninth on the 12-team league with 20 points, seven behind fourth-placed Bahcelievler Belediyespor.
The top four teams at the end of the regular season qualify for the promotion play-offs.