- By Phelan Chatterjee
- BBC News
13 February 2023 at 13:47 GMT
Updated 3 hours ago
Observe: Survivors rescued from under rubble after seven days
More than a week after the devastating earthquake, a young girl was rescued from the rubble of an apartment block in southern Turkey.
Miray was trapped in the ruins for 178 hours – seven and a half days.
The video showed workers cheering and shouting “God is great” as she was lifted out of the darkness.
Several others were rescued Monday, including a 13-year-old boy who was trapped for 182 hours. But rescues are becoming increasingly rare as the death toll surpasses 35,000.
This is partly due to the limitations on how long the human body can survive without water.
Other factors include how much room the trapped person has to breathe and the severity of their injuries, an emergency medical officer told the BBC.
Prof Tony Redmond also said the cold temperatures in Turkey and Syria are a double-edged sword.
When you’re very cold, your blood vessels shrink and you can live from your injuries a little longer, he explained. But getting too cold is harmful in itself.
The death toll in Turkey and neighboring Syria is expected to rise dramatically, with the United Nations humanitarian chief warning it could double.
Miray – the young girl rescued in Adiyaman city on Monday – was attached to a stretcher and carried away by rescue workers. Local media reported that local teams hoped to find her older sister.
In hard-hit Hatay province, 13-year-old Kaan was rescued after being trapped for 182 hours – as was a woman named Naide Umay, who was found alive after 175 hours.
In the town of Kahramanmaras, rescue workers had contacted a grandmother, a mother and a baby – all stuck but alive – and were working to reach them.
Thousands of teams across the region — including miners and experts using thermal imaging cameras and sniffer dogs — have been combing the remains of collapsed buildings for any remaining survivors.
However, hope of finding living people is fading and there is a feeling that the rescue mission will soon end.
The focus is shifting to recovery, with officials dealing with shelter, food and health care.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has admitted shortcomings in the response, but during a visit to a disaster area last week he appeared to blame fate.
Officials say they have issued 113 warrants related to the construction of buildings that have collapsed, taking 12 people, including contractors, into custody.