New York Daily News
KIDS SURVIVE HORROR
Several rescued in Turkey a week after temblors that killed 35,000
Several children were saved from the rubble Monday in Turkey, where the search for survivors continued a full week after catastrophic earthquakes caused more than 35,000 confirmed deaths.
Responders removed a young girl named Hivay from the debris after 177 hours and rescued another girl named Miray after 178 hours, both in the city of Adiyaman, according to Turkish Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoglu.
A 13-year-old boy named Kaan was also rescued from the rubble Monday in Hatay Province.
“There is always hope,” tweeted Fahrettin Koca, Turkey’s health minister, who shared a short video of responders giving Hivay an oxygen mask.
Thousands of buildings toppled in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck on the morning of Feb. 6. That quake was followed nine hours later by a 7.5-magnitude quake.
More than 31,000 of the deaths occurred in Turkey, according to officials. Authorities and first responders in civil-war-torn Syria reported more than 3,500 deaths, but the government has not updated totals in several days.
Severe winter weather and damaged roads complicated the search-and-rescue efforts. Tens of thousands of people were injured, while many remain displaced from their homes.
“We sleep in the mud, all together with two, three, even four families,” said Zehra Kurukafa, a survivor in Polat, Turkey.
More than 150,000 people were given shelter outside Turkey’s hard-hit areas, officials said Monday.
“Those who have the means are leaving, but we’re poor,” said Fuat Ekinci, a farmer in western Turkey.
“The government says, go and live there a month or two. How do I leave my home? My fields are here. This is my home, how do I leave it behind?”
Some accused the Turkish government of not being prepared for the disaster. Critics also claimed the emergency response took too long.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the response had improved after issues early on.
“It is not possible to be prepared for such a disaster,” Erdogan said during a tour of affected cities.
“We will not leave any of our citizens uncared for.”