Miraculous rescues were reported in Turkey on Monday, more than a week after it and Syria were struck by a devastating earthquake. An elderly woman and a child were dug up alive.
Survivors Have Spent Over a Week Under the Rubble
An elderly woman was recovered alive after spending 177 hours (seven days and eleven hours) beneath the rubble of a collapsed building in Antakya, Hatay province. Photos showed the happiness of the woman’s son after his mother was discovered alive.
A 12-year-old child spent even longer under the rubble, getting rescued 182 hours (seven days and fourteen hours) after the tremor, Al Jazeera reported.
Antakya, a city of 200,000, is located in Turkey’s southernmost province, Hatay, which is sandwiched between the Mediterranean and Syrian territory. It has 1.6 million people.
As of Monday evening local time, almost 90,000 people have been confirmed as injured in the earthquake, which has affected a cross-border region inhabited by 24 million people, with 1.3 million internally displaced.
The number of buildings that collapsed, largely due to inadequate construction, is estimated at almost 6,600.
The list of other miracle rescues in Turkey, which occurred on Sunday night and Monday morning, includes a 40-year-old woman found alive beneath a collapsed five-story building in Gaziantep province.
In the same province, a search dog led to the finding of three more survivors – a baby, a mother, and a daughter – who were about to be extracted. Even earlier, a 60-year-old woman was saved in Besni, Andiyaman province, NPR reported.
WATCH: The dramatic rescue of a woman stuck in a collapsed building in Hatay, Turkey. Listen to the relief in her voice after being trapped for nearly a week.
The UK government funded @UK_ISAR_TEAM spent 17 hours tunnelling through wreckage, tracing her voice. pic.twitter.com/EzPjou553F
— Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (@FCDOGovUK) February 12, 2023
She is sister of the child. She lost mother in #earthquaketurkey She is trying to feed him. 😥😰😭😢#PrayForTurkey #HelpTurkey #TurkeySyriaEarthquake #HelpSyria #TurkeyEarthquake pic.twitter.com/iOXpSkyFT9
— Youth_Club 🇮🇳❤️ (@YouthClub_In) February 11, 2023
Turkey, the moment when a father covered his son with his body during a tragic earthquake. As it turned out, this saved his life, the son is alive pic.twitter.com/E5cAV16d0f
— Levandov (@blabla112345) February 9, 2023
Aftermath in Syria Even Worse Over Inadequate Relief
While Turkey’s rescue operations seem to have been more extensive, that hasn’t been the case the neighboring Syria. It has been devastated by a brutal civil war over the past 12 years.
The earthquake affected territories held by both the regime and the Syrian rebels; there have been problems with relief and humanitarian aid in both zones.
According to the UN relief aid chief, Martin Griffith, the rescue operations are about to draw down, but the world “failed” those affected in Northwest Syria, who “rightly feel abandoned”.
UN estimates say the earthquake and its aftershocks may have left 5.3 million Syrians homeless. At the same time, nearly one million people in both Syria and Turkey “urgently” need hot food.
The United Nations relief agency also noted that aid from government-held parts of Syria is delayed because it had to be approved by the Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham armed militia.
The UN also warned the tremor’s aftermath may worsen an already existing outbreak of cholera in Syria.
Eva Hines from the Syrian office of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, underscored Syria had already been suffering from food insecurity, lack of water, lack of sanitation, and a collapsing healthcare system even before the earthquake.
A son of a Turkish woman Saadet Sendag reacts as his mother is rescued 177 hours after the earthquake, at the site of a collapsed building in Hatay, Turkey https://t.co/ISgVDmWfjx 📷 @bektasumit pic.twitter.com/0PlYAowiRU
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) February 13, 2023
Cat hugs dog after earthquake in Turkey. All were saved from debris. #turkeyearthquake pic.twitter.com/m9691l1OOp
— God’s Invitations (@imana_davet) February 9, 2023