Three-year-old rescued from rubble in Turkey’s Izmir when earthquake strikes 85


A three-year-old girl was rescued from a collapsed building in the western Turkish city of Izmir on Monday almost three days after a powerful earthquake in the Aegean Sea that has killed at least 85 people.

Rescuers pulled the girl, Elif, out of the rubble and took her on a stretcher to an ambulance as rescue workers searched for survivors in eight other buildings.

Elif’s two sisters and brother were found alive in the wreck with their mother on Saturday, but one of the children died later.

“Thank you very much, my God. We have led our little Elif out of the apartment block,” Mehmet Gulluoglu, head of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD), wrote on Twitter.

AFAD said the death toll had risen to 83 in Izmir – making it the deadliest earthquake to hit Turkey in nearly a decade. Two teenagers also died on the Greek island of Samos, authorities said.

Greek firefighters inspect damaged buildings on the island of Samos. © via REUTERS

A total of 994 people had been injured in Izmir and about 220 people were still being treated for their injuries, AFAD added.

About 20 people were still believed to be in the rubble of one of the city’s apartment blocks, where the search continued, TV station CNN Turk said.

It was the deadliest earthquake in Turkey since one in the eastern city of Van in 2011 that killed more than 500 people. An earthquake in January this year killed 41 people in the eastern province of Elazig.

Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, two powerful earthquakes killed 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey.

Friday’s quake, which the Istanbul-based Kandilli Institute said had a magnitude of 6.9, was centered in the Aegean Sea, northeast of Samos. There have since been nearly 1,200 aftershocks, AFAD said.

More than 3,500 tents and 13,000 beds have been provided to provide temporary shelter in Turkey, and nearly 8,000 staff and 25 rescue dogs were involved in rescue and relief efforts, according to AFAD.