April 24, 2024

A young girl has been saved from the rubble of a block of flats in southern Turkey, more than a week after the devastating earthquake struck.

Miray had been trapped in the ruins for 178 hours – seven-and-a-half days.

Video showed workers cheering and shouting “God is great” as she was lifted out of the darkness.

Several others were saved on Monday, including a 13-year-old boy trapped for 182 hours. But rescues are becoming rarer as the death toll passes 35,000.

This is partly due to limits on how long the human body can survive without water.

Other factors include how much space the trapped person has to breathe and how bad their injuries are, an emergency medicine specialist told the BBC.

Prof Tony Redmond also said the cold temperatures in Turkey and Syria were a double-edged sword.

If you are very cold, your blood vessels shrink and you can last a little longer from your injuries, he explained. But getting too cold is harmful in itself.

The death toll in Turkey and neighbouring Syria is expected to rise dramatically, with the United Nations’ humanitarian chief warning it could double.

Miray – the young girl rescued on Monday in the city of Adiyaman – was attached to a stretcher and carried away by rescue workers. Local media reported teams on the ground were hoping to find her older sister.

In hard-hit Hatay province, 13-year-old Kaan was rescued after being trapped for 182 hours – as well as a woman called Naide Umay, found alive after 175 hours.

In the city of Kahramanmaras, rescue workers had made contact with a grandmother, mother and baby – all stuck, but alive – and were working to reach them.

Thousands of teams across the region – including coal miners and experts using thermal cameras and sniffer dogs – have been scouring the remains of collapsed buildings to find remaining survivors.

But hopes of finding people alive are dwindling and there is a sense that the rescue mission will soon end.

The focus is shifting to recovery, with officials looking at shelter, food and healthcare.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has admitted shortcomings in the response, but during one visit to a disaster zone last week, he appeared to blame fate.

Officials say they have issued 113 arrest warrants in connection with the construction of buildings that collapsed, with 12 people taken into custody, including contractors.

 

Source: By Phelan Chatterjee
BBC News

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