Turkish rescuers on Thursday pulled a 17-year-girl from the rubble of last week’s devastating earthquake, as hopes fade of finding more survivors.
Aleyna Olmez was rescued 248 hours after the 7.8-magnitude quake flattened entire cities, killing nearly 40,000 people across southeastern Turkiye and parts of Syria.
“She looked to be in good health. She opened and closed her eyes,” coal miner Ali Akdogan, who took part in the rescue effort, told AFP in Kahramanmaras, a city near the quake’s epicenter.
“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.”
But after the rescue, Turkish soldiers told the media and locals to leave the scene because teams were starting to pull corpses out of the rubble.
While several people were also found alive in Turkiye on Wednesday, reports of such rescues have become increasingly infrequent. Authorities in Turkiye and Syria have not announced how many people are still missing.
Millions of people are in need of humanitarian aid after being left homeless in near-freezing winter temperatures.