Survivors still being found as quake death toll tops 28,000 « Khabarhub
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Survivors still being found as quake death toll tops 28,000


12 February 2023  

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LATAKIA, SYRIA: Ibrahim Zakaria lost track of time drifting into and out of consciousness while trapped for nearly five days in the rubble of his home following the massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria this week.

The 23-year-old cellphone shop worker from the Syrian town of Jableh survived on dirty drips of water and eventually lost hope that he’d be saved.

“I said ‘I am dead, and it will be impossible for me to live again,'” Zakaria, who was rescued Friday night, told The Associated Press from his hospital bed Saturday in the coastal city of Latakia where his 60-year-old mother, Duha Nurallah, was also recovering.

Five days after two powerful earthquakes hours apart caused thousands of buildings to collapse, killing more than 28,000 people and leaving millions homeless, rescuers were still pulling unlikely survivors from the ruins — one of them just 7-months-old.

Although each rescue elicited hugs and shouts of “Allahu akbar!” — “God is great!” — from the weary men and women working tirelessly in the freezing temperatures to save lives, they were the exception in a region blanketed by grief, desperation and mounting frustration.

More than a dozen survivors were rescued Saturday, including a family in Kahramanmaras, the Turkish city closest to the epicenter of Monday’s quake. Crews there helped 12-year-old Nehir Naz Narli to safety before going back for her parents.

In Gaziantep province, which borders Syria, a family of five was rescued from a demolished building in the city of Nurdagi and a man and his 3-year-old daughter were pulled from debris in the town of Islahiye, television network HaberTurk reported. A 7-year-old girl was also rescued in Hatay province.

In Elbistan, a district in Kahramanmaras province, 20-year-old Melisa Ulku and another person were saved from the rubble 132 hours after the quake struck. Before she was brought to safety, police asked onlookers not to cheer or clap so as not to interfere with nearby rescue efforts.

Turkish TV station NTV reported that a 44-year-old man in Iskenderun, in Hatay province, was rescued 138 hours into his ordeal.

Crying rescuers called it a miracle, with one saying they weren’t expecting to find anyone alive but as they were digging, they saw his eyes and he said his name.

In the same province, NTV also reported that a baby boy named Hamza was found alive in Antakya 140 hours after the quake.

Some details of his rescue, including how he survived so long, weren’t immediately clear.

(VOA)

Publish Date : 12 February 2023 10:48 AM

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