Chichester man talks of earthquake terror

'˜Nearest we've come to death I reckon', that was the comment from a Chichester man caught up in the earthquake in Rhodes.

Friday, 21st July 2017, 5:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:21 pm
Mark, Karen and children Amber and Holly pictured in Rhodes before the earthquake
Mark, Karen and children Amber and Holly pictured in Rhodes before the earthquake

Mark Chapman, who is currently holidaying with his family, told the Observer: “I’ve never been in an earthquake before except those fake ones at theme parks.

“I had woken a minute or so before, like a premonition. The room started to rumble and shake slowly at first and then it started to more violently move back and forwards. The bed we were sleeping on moved across the floor and a picture on a shelf above our heads crashed against a wall and onto the bedroom tiles, luckily not hitting either of us.

“My wife woke up shouting ‘what’s going on’ - she thought I was thrashing about having a heart attack. One of the hotel staff said it lasted about eight seconds – any longer and I could easily imagine the room’s concrete ceiling falling on us.

“Nearest we’ve come to death I reckon – narrowly missed the grim reaper by a few seconds.”

Mr Chapman said that he then rushed to the balcony window in a bid to find out more about the situation ‘but the earthquake had stopped and there was no damage or buildings collapsing thankfully’.

He added: “Lights came on around us and down the street, people were shouting in panic, dogs were barking. We checked on our daughters who were in another room – slept through the whole thing, bless them.”

In the moments that followed, Mr Chapman turned to social media which he said ‘lit up’ as the news broke.

“It made me think how it’s possible to be killed in an instant as you sleep and not know a thing about it, too sleepy to react maybe.”

Mr Chapman, who works as a digital marketer in Havant, is pictured with his wife Karen and daughters Amber and Holly – Bishop Luffa students – in Rhodes old town a couple of years ago.

He said that life there is now ‘just going on as usual’ on the island.