Two children rescued days after deadly Turkey quake
A woman is comforted after officials confirmed that both her parents were dead during the ongoing search operation at the site of a collapsed building as they look for survivors and victims in the city of Izmir on November 2, 2020. AFP
Rescuers pulled two children from the rubble in a town in western Turkey on Monday, nearly three days after a powerful earthquake hit the Aegean, killing 85 people.
Three-year-old Elif Perincek was rescued 65 hours after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck Turkey and Greece on Friday, the Turkish emergency authority AFAD said. Local media showed a video of a little girl wrapped up in a foil blanket quickly taken to safety in the coastal town of Bayrakli -- the hardest hit by the disaster -- as rescue workers broke into applause.
"I'm so happy, God bless you. I'm reunited with Elif," her grandmother said, quoted by state broadcaster TRT. "My prayers were answered."
Elif was the 106th person pulled out alive from collapsed buildings in Bayrakli, which included her mother and three siblings the day before. But her rescued brother later died, TRT reported.
AFAD also reported the rescue of 14-year-old Idil Sirin in Bayrakli, 58 hours after the quake hit, levelling buildings in both Turkey and Greece.
But the family's joy was brief as the lifeless body of Idil's sister, Ipek, was found, the Hurriyet newspaper reported. "I can't hear any sounds from my sister, she's dead," Idil told rescuers as she was being pulled out, Hurriyet said.
Turkey's toll from the quake is continuing to rise, with Environment Minister Murat Kurum reporting 83 dead. Nearly 1,000 people were injured, with over 200 still in hospital.
Two teenagers were also killed on their way home from school on the Greek island of Samos, near the epicentre of the quake. Racing against time, search and rescue workers are still on a desperate search to try to find people alive in the rubble in Bayrakli, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.
Thousands of residents, including those whose homes collapsed, spent a third night outside in tents in Bayrakli and nearby Bornova, as many feared the risk of aftershocks. AFAD said there had been 1,148 aftershocks, including 43 above magnitude four.