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Girl rescued from rubble 248 hours after the earthquake in Turkey

Girl rescued from rubble 248 hours after the earthquake in Turkey

Kahramanmaras: As prospects for finding more survivors dwindle, Turkish rescuers on Thursday rescued a 17-year-old girl from the wreckage of last week's catastrophic earthquake.

After the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southeast Turkey and parts of Syria destroyed entire cities and killed over 40,000 people, Aleyna Olmez was found 248 hours later.

“She looked to be in good health. She opened and closed her eyes,” coal miner Ali Akdogan, who took part in the rescue effort, said in Kahramanmaras, a city near the quake’s epicentre.

“We have been working here in this building for a week now... We came here with the hope of hearing sounds,” he said.

“We are happy whenever we find a living thing — even a cat.”

The girl’s uncle tearfully hugged the rescuers one by one, saying: “We will never forget you.”

After the rescue, however, Turkish soldiers ordered the press and civilians to leave the area because teams were beginning to recover corpses from the wreckage, AFP reported.

Even though a few people were also discovered alive on Wednesday in Turkiye, news of such rescues is becoming less common. The number of persons currently missing in Syria and Turkey has not been disclosed by the authorities there.

Humanitarian assistance is required for the millions of people who were left homeless during the winter's near-freezing temperatures.

A picture of two missing boys had been attached to a tree in the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras, not far from the apartment building where they resided.

"Their parents are deceased," said earthquake survivor Bayram Nacar, who stood waiting with other local men wearing masks as an excavator cleared a huge pile of shattered concrete and twisted metal rods behind the tree.

He said the bodies of the boys' parents were still under the rubble. "The father was called Atilla Sariyildiz. His body is yet to be found. We are hoping to find the parents after the excavators remove the debris."

The disaster zone had been rocked by more than 4,300 aftershocks since the initial one, according to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

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