2.64L apartments destroyed in Turkey quake : The Tribune India

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2.64L apartments destroyed in Turkey quake

296 hours later, three rescued, one succumbs | Toll 46,000

2.64L apartments destroyed in Turkey quake

Tents at a camp on the outskirts of rebel-held town of Jandaris, Syria, for people displaced by the deadly earthquake. reuters



Ankara, February 18

More than 46,000 people have been killed in the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, and the toll is expected to soar with some 264,000 apartments in Turkey destroyed and many still missing as rescue workers listen for signs of life under rubble.

Three perons, including a child, were rescued alive. The mother and father survived but the child died later of dehyrdration, the rescue team said. One older sister and a twin did not make it.

Television images showed the three people being carried to ambulances.

Twelve days after the quake hit, workers from Kyrgyzstan tried to save a Syrian family of five from the rubble of a building in Antakya city in southern Turkey.

“We heard shouts when we were digging today an hour ago. When we find people who are alive we are always happy,” Atay Osmanov, a member of the rescue team, said.

Ten ambulances waited on a nearby street that was blocked to traffic to allow for the rescue work.

Workers asked for complete silence and for everybody to crouch or sit as the teams climbed further up to the top of the rubble of the building where the family was found to listen for any more sounds using an electronic detector.

As rescue efforts continued one worker yelled into the rubble: “Take a deep breath if you can hear my voice.” Workers later stopped the search operations as excavators arrived and climbed up the rubble to begin clearing it.

The death toll in Turkey stands at 40,642 from the quake, the country’s worst modern disaster, while neighbouring Syria has reported more than 5,800 deaths. Syria’s toll has not changed for days.

While many international rescue teams have left the vast quake zone, domestic teams continued to search through flattened buildings on Saturday hoping to find more survivors who defied the odds. Experts say most rescues occur in the 24 hours following an earthquake.

Hakan Yasinoglu, in his 40s, was rescued in the southern province of Hatay, 278 hours after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck in the dead of night on Feb. 6, the Istanbul Fire Brigade said.

Earlier, Osman Halebiye, 14, and Mustafa Avci, 34, were saved in Turkey’s historic city of Antakya, known in ancient times as Antioch. As Avci was carried away, he was put on a video call with his parents, who showed him his newborn baby.

“I had completely lost all hope. This is a true miracle. They gave me my son back. I saw the wreckage and I thought nobody could be saved alive from there,” the baby’s father said.

Neither Turkey nor Syria have said how many people are still missing following the quake. For families still waiting to retrieve relatives, there is growing anger over what they see as corrupt building practices. — Reuters


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