A neighbour’s phone call saved one Turkish family from certain death, alerting them just five minutes before their house collapsed.
Others were not so lucky. Two people died when a giant boulder crushed their home, and four others have died in other incidents. The most miraculous escape came on the road between Bayburt and Erzurum. The rain turned to snow at altitude, and here 18 students were stuck in an avalanche for 39 hours. Search parties were about to give up when they found them. “Some of us had almost given up in despair but we boosted each other’s morale and offered psychological support to get us all through it,” said one young man. A specialised mountain resue team found their bus after its driver was able to radio for help. Fortunately the bus had enough fuel to be able to run the motor and provide heat during the ordeal.