Babies, toddlers survive days in rubble, bringing joy amid earthquake tragedy


© Reuters. A rescue worker holds 20-day-old survivor Kerem Agirtas being pulled from the rubble, following a deadly earthquake in Hatay, Turkey, February 8, 2023. REUTERS/Kemal Aslan


ANTAKYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Crouching under concrete slabs and whispering “inshallah” (God willing), rescuers carefully reached into the rubble, then handed them a reward – a 10-day-old infant survived for 4 days with his mother. in the collapsed building.

Eyes wide open, Turkish boy Yagiz Ulas was wrapped in a shiny thermal blanket and taken to a field medical center in Samandag, Hatay province, on Friday. Video footage from Turkey’s disaster agency showed emergency workers also carrying his mother, stunned and pale but conscious, on a stretcher.

The rescue of some young children lifted spirits among weary teams searching for survivors on Thursday after a massive earthquake hit Turkey and neighboring Syria, killing more than 21,000 people. network.

At least seven children were rescued on Friday, videos released by disaster services showed, their astonishing survival inspired search teams, who also managed to save their lives. Some adults are stuck.

Rescuers, including teams of experts from dozens of countries, worked through the night in the rubble of thousands of dilapidated buildings. In freezing temperatures, they frequently call for silence as they listen for any sound of life from the crumbling concrete mounds.

In the Turkish town of Kahramanmaras, 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Samandag, workers in orange vests crammed in airbags beneath a collapsed building to find a crying toddler. when dust got into his eyes, before relief arrived the boy and rescuers gently brushed his face clean, video from the Turkish Defense Ministry showed.

Farther east of Turkey, another boy’s frightened face peered out from a covered building, his cry louder than the sound of drills and grinders trying to free him in the morning. Friday in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, where 7.8 strong earthquakes and aftershocks have turned apartment blocks into rubble and rubble,

After opening a wider hole, workers put an oxygen mask on his face and took him to safety. Like baby Yagiz, he was followed by his mother on a stretcher 103 hours after the earthquake struck.

And across the border in Syria, rescuers from the White Helmets group dug plaster and cement with their bare hands, the air covered with thick dust, until they reached the bare feet of a young girl, wearing pink pajamas now dusty after days of being trapped, but alive and free at last.

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