Children Found Alive As Turkey, Syria Earthquake Count Crosses 22,000

Number of children found alive as earthquake in Turkey, Syria surpasses 22,000

Monday’s quake was the largest that Turkey has seen since 1939.

Kahramanmaras, Turkey:

Rescuers pulled surviving children Friday from the rubble of the Turkey-Syria earthquake as the toll exceeded 22,000 and the bitter cold added to the pain of the homeless. reside.

In the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras, one of the hardest hit by the region’s worst earthquake in nearly a century, a stench filled the air.

But as rescue teams entered the fifth day to remove flattened buildings, Turkish media reported the rescue of the young children, long after a 72-hour deadline had passed when survivors is thought to be most likely to be found.

At the 105th hour, rescuers pulled 18-month-old Yusuf Huseyin from the rubble in the southeastern city of Antakya. Twenty minutes later, they rescued seven-year-old Muhammed Huseyin, news channel NTV reported.

Three-year-old Zeynep Ela Parlak was also rescued in Antakya on Friday, while in Adiyaman province rescuers rescued 60-year-old Eyup Ak and in Gaziantep two people were pulled out including a child. age unknown.

“Half an hour ago we rescued two people alive from the rubble,” the Czech Republic fire brigade tweeted Friday of their teams in Adiyaman, southeastern Turkey.

Turkish officials said on Thursday rescuers pulled a 10-day-old baby and his mother out after being trapped for 90 hours in the hard-hit province of Hatay.

Young Yagiz Ulas was quickly wrapped in a thermal blanket.

Body flew home

Turkish miners, their fellow rescuers, told how they rushed to help those trapped in Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

“Our hearts can’t take this,” said miner Ismail Hakki Kalkan.

However, the bodies of seven Cypriot children, as well as two teachers and a parent killed in the Adiyaman earthquake were brought home on Friday, with Turkish media reporting that 19 children were in the hospital. group is dead.

Two dozen children aged 11-14 on the island, along with 10 parents, four teachers and a volleyball coach, are in Turkey for a school tournament and have been staying in a hotel that has destroyed.

In an area where many have been displaced and traumatized by Syria’s civil war, worries are growing about many people being left without shelter amid freezing temperatures.

United Nations aid and relief teams arrived, while the US Agency for International Development provided an $85 million package that included food, shelter and emergency medical services.

World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths have both announced upcoming visits.

The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljaric, who traveled to Aleppo, which was devastated by the earthquake in Syria, said: “As this tragic event occurs, the desperate plight of the people must be resolved. decide”.

A leader of the PKK said outlawed Kurdish fighters are suspending their “activities” in Turkey following a major earthquake in the country and Syria.

Aid to the rebel region

“Thousands of our people are under rubble. Everyone has to mobilize by all means,” leader Cemil Bayik was quoted by ANF, a news agency close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as saying. at the end of Thursday.

An official at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing told AFP that the first aid shipments had arrived in rebel-held northwestern Syria since Thursday’s earthquake.

A decade of civil war and Syrian-Russian airstrikes have destroyed hospitals, crippled the economy and caused shortages of electricity, fuel and water.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Security Council to allow the opening of new cross-border humanitarian aid points between Turkey and Syria.

“This is a time of solidarity, not a time for politicization or division, but it is clear that we need tremendous support,” Guterres said.

Temperatures in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, located near the quake’s epicenter, dropped to minus 3 degrees Celsius (26 degrees Fahrenheit) early Friday.

Despite the cold, thousands of families still live in cars and makeshift tents – too scared or forbidden to return to their homes.

Gyms, mosques, schools and some shops were open at night. But beds were scarce, and thousands of people had to spend the night in motor cars to provide heat.

‘Silence is painful’

Monday’s quake was the largest Turkey has seen since 1939, when 33,000 people were killed in the eastern Erzincan province.

Officials and medical staff said 18,991 people had died in Turkey and 3,377 in Syria after Monday’s earthquake, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths to 22,368.

Experts fear this number will continue to rise.

Anger has grown over the government’s handling of the disaster.

Hakan Tanriverdi told AFP in Adiyaman province: “Those who did not die from the earthquake were left to die in the cold.

During a visit to the region, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted there had been “shortcomings” in the government’s handling of the disaster.

In the devastated Turkish town of Nurdagi, near the epicenter, emergency workers using drones and heat-detecting monitors ordered silence when a likely survivor was found. .

“The quiet is uncomfortable. We don’t know what will happen,” said Emre, a local resident, as he waited beside a block of houses on the main road leading into town.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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