After 104 hours buried by Turkey earthquake, woman brought out alive
Rescuers carry a woman named Zeynep, as the search for survivors continues, in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Kirikhan, Turkey February 10, 2023. REUTERS
A woman was found alive in the wreckage of a collapsed building in Turkey on Friday, evoking shouts from spectators 104 hours after she was buried by the powerful earthquake that killed thousands of people and left vast amounts of damage in its wake.
“Now I believe in miracles,” rescue team commander Steven Bayer remarked as workers in the town of Kirikhan delicately carried Zeynep Kahraman, 40, in a stretcher past broken concrete blocks and twisted metal into an ambulance.
“You can see the people crying and hugging each other. It’s such a huge relief that this woman under such conditions came out so fit. It’s an absolute miracle,” he said.
Kahraman lay still, strapped into the stretcher with her arms across her chest, her eyes shielded from the sudden light by dark glasses. Her younger sister Zuebeyde looked on and hugged a worker from the German International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team.
“The woman pulled through. She didn’t give up,” rescue dog handler Tamara Reither said as crowds applauded.
“We are all so grateful that she is lying in this ambulance now. I have no words.”
Kahraman’s family told Reuters this week they had waited two days for rescuers to arrive after Monday’s quake.
The German workers made contact with Zeynep while she was still deep inside the rubble and kept her hydrated through a hose. At one point they helped Zuebeyde climb down a ladder close to her sister’s position to speak to her.
The cumulative death toll from the deadliest earthquake to strike the area in decades reached at 21,000 on Friday morning in southern Turkey and northwest Syria.
More than 300,000 people are now homeless and food insecure amid the harsh winter weather, and they are in need of a global humanitarian effort to ease their suffering.