Rescue efforts are still underway across Turkey and Syria, four days after devastating earthquakes and aftershocks hit the region. More than 21,000 people were killed in both countries and over 78,000 are reported injured, local authorities said on Thursday.
Stories of successful rescue operations and images of survivors being pulled from the wreckage are making international headlines, giving hope to crews that are racing against time to find more people alive.
A 10-year-old girl was discovered alive in Hatay province in Turkey, after having survived 90 hours under rubble, and a 2-year-old survived a total of 79 hours trapped inside a building that was destroyed in the 7.8-magnitude quake.
In the city of Kahramanmaraş, a mother and her 6-year-old daughter were freed from under a collapsed home after rescue teams worked for nearly 20 hours to extract them.
A mother and her six-year-old daughter were rescued alive overnight from a collapsed house in #Kahramanmaraş, Turkey. The urban search and rescue teams of @at_fire and @team_saraid worked tirelessly for almost 20 hours on the difficult rescue. #earthquaketurkey @Insarag pic.twitter.com/LsU9MA3wMX— @fire - Internationaler Katastrophenschutz (@at_fire) February 9, 2023
And in one moving, but heartbreaking, scene in the last days: A newborn was found by rescuers in northern Syria. The infant was discovered crying but alive, still tied by her umbilical cord to her deceased mother.
As more time passes, the hope of finding more survivors is gradually fading. Damaged roads and frigid cold temperatures are working against the efforts of local and international search and rescue teams.
Israel is among the world’s nations that have sent humanitarian aid, medical and rescue teams to the region. The Israeli delegation that departed to Turkey on Monday evening has so far managed to extract 17 civilians from the debri, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.
The Jewish state on Wednesday sent a second delegation to the disaster-struck nation to establish a field hospital near Kahramanmaraş. There are currently at least 230 Israeli experts working on the ground in Turkey.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau has ordered humanitarian aid to be sent to Syria at the request of its ally, Russia, despite having no diplomatic ties with the hostile neighbor to its north.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.