A Ballymoney mother and her teenage daughter were among terrified tourists caught up in the earthquake and subsequent mini tsunami that hit the Turkish coast early on Friday, leaving two dead and over 200 injured.
The 6.7-magnitude quake hit 12km (seven miles) north-east of Kos, with a depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey said.
Along the Turkish coastline and in the city of Bodrum, dozens of people were injured as they tried to flee the quake.
However, despite their dreadful ordeal, A-level student Caitlin Walker and her mum Karen are safe and looking forward to returning home on Monday.
“We are staying at the beach front in a town called Gumbet,” said 17-year old Caitlin. “I first realised there was an earthquake at about 1.45am as I was out in a fun pub with my Mum, however there was a small one at 1.30am but we didn’t notice it.
“When it happened it was terrifying. The bar staff told all of us to stand outside because things started to smash and the tables and chairs moved. Then after the earthquake all the electricity went off for 30 minutes or so and the main quake was followed by aftershocks.”
The earthquake also triggered high waves off Gumbet which is a resort town near Bodrum, which flooded roads and left parked cars stranded causing panic amongst many locals.
”After that we went to check our room because the beach had a mini tsunami and a lot of rooms got flooded.” continued Cailtin, a student at the North Coast Integrated College in Coleraine.
“It was awful! We didn’t really know what was going on as we weren’t allowed in the hotel so we had to sleep outside but a lot of the Turkish started to panic and went to get their suitcases and left which made us worry more.”
Fortunately for Caitlin and her mum they were able to return to their room as the cleanup operation got underway, however, they can still feel minor tremors.
“Thankfully our room is fine but because where we are staying is by the beach front a lot of the rooms closer to the beach got flooded but ours didn’t.
“There are small tremors every 30 minutes or so and the staff are all busy cleaning the hotel and beach today as a lot of things got washed up or taken away with the water like sunbeds etc.
“We have been coming here for 16 years and it’s the first time we have seen anything like it. It was the scariest moment of my life.”