A ROMSEY woman has spoken of her horror after the Cyprus hotel she was staying in was rocked by an explosion.

Karen Dunleavey was on holiday with her husband at the Acapulco Hotel when they were woken up in the middle of the night after an explosion tore through a Turkish military base in northern Cyprus, covering the hotel with pieces of shrapnel.

A number of explosions shook the base at Catalkoy, west of the town of Kyrenia, after an arms dump caught fire on Thursday morning.

Karen said: “It was just terrifying. My husband Alex was at our hotel room door when the lock was completely blown off from one of the explosions. We quickly got dressed and we had to run to the beach. 

“All we could hear was screaming and glass breaking around us, due to the multiple explosions, and we would see flashes of light before we heard banging; it sounded like someone was shooting at us. 

“We held onto each other because there were so many people running and we did not want to lose each other.”

Karen, who represents Tadburn on Romsey Town Council, added: “There were lots of people in their night clothes and one side of the hotel had their windows blown in and there was broken glass everywhere. Part of the reception was blown away as well. 

“The staff directed us to the beach and after an hour we were being kept against the wall and were not allowed to move. We were sat on chair and sunbeds and were given duvet covers, because it was getting chilly at three o’clock. We were lucky no one was injured.”

Karen and Alex were on the ground floor of the hotel facing away from the blast and were “some of the only people allowed back into the block”, according to Karen. 

When asked what the hotel is doing now after the blast, Karen said: “Lorries arrived this morning with more windows and the staff are acting like everything is fine.”

The couple returned to England on Sunday morning. 

A probe has now been launched to conclude the cause of the blasts.

The Kyrenia area on the north coast lies within a breakaway state Turkish Cypriot leaders declared in 1983, but remains recognised only by Ankara.

The island has also been divided on ethnic lines since Turkish troops occupied its northern third in 1974, after a Greek Cypriot coup.