Rescuers battled to save earthquake survivors yesterday amid warnings that time is running out for thousands trapped under flattened homes.
A newborn baby was among those pulled from the rubble after relatives found her still attached to her dead mother by umbilical cord.
The mother died when a massive quake hit their home in Jinderis, Syria, apparently within moments of giving birth.
The baby’s immediate family were killed, leaving her the sole survivor, but she was discovered by other relatives after they heard noises as they dug through the debris of the home. Elsewhere, a young boy called Ahmed was saved after rescuers spotted three of his toes poking out from under a slab of concrete in Qatma. Syria. In southern Turkey, Hulya Yilmaz and her baby Ayse Vera were rescued after 29 hours under the rubble of a collapsed building.
And a video from Afrin, Syria showed the incredible moment rescuers dug out a tiny girl from rubble as her father tried to keep her calm. The father said: ‘Dad is here – don’t be scared!’ Another film was posted on Twitter showing two sisters trapped under a concrete slab at an unknown location pleading for help.
A newborn baby was among those pulled from the rubble after relatives found her still attached to her dead mother by umbilical cord
The baby’s immediate family were killed, leaving her the sole survivor, but she was discovered by other relatives after they heard noises as they dug through the debris of the home
The death toll from Monday’s quakes which devastated huge swathes of Turkey and Syria last night reached 7,200 amid fears the disaster could claim up to 20,000 lives. More than 5,400 people are known to have died in Turkey, with a further 1,800 in Syria.
The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said thousands of youngsters may have been killed.
Three Britons are among those missing while at least 35 UK nationals were caught up in the chaos. In some places, quake survivors said they could hear the voices of trapped people, but rescuers had not arrived on the scene.
Aftershocks and blocked roads have hampered rescue efforts, while the overwhelming scale of the disaster has stretched resources and equipment
Sub-zero temperatures mean some trapped people may die from hypothermia and exposure before they can be saved.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 13million of his country’s citizens were affected in some way and declared a three-month state of emergency in ten provinces. The World Health Organisation put the overall number of people affected in Turkey and Syria at up to 23million.
In Hatay province, Turkey, survivors said they could hear people pleading for help from beneath collapsed buildings.
A young boy called Ahmed was saved after rescuers spotted three of his toes poking out from under a slab of concrete in Qatma. Syria
The boy was saved by rescuers after they spotted his toes, which he wiggled to show he was alive
Toddler Raghad Ismail, who was featured being pulled from ruins on the Daily Mail’s front page yesterday, is being cared for at her uncle’s home in Azaz, Syria
Nurgul Atay said she and others had been trying to reach her mother, but they were unable to move heavy slabs of concrete. She could hear her mother’s anguished voice, adding: ‘My mother is 70 years old – she won’t be able to withstand this for long.’ Another Hatay resident called Deniz said: ‘They’re making noises, but nobody is coming. They’re calling out. They’re saying, “Save us!”, but we can’t save them. How are we going to save them?’
Some of those trapped left harrowing messages and desperate pleas for help on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The first 7.8-magnitude quake hit in the early hours of Monday, forcing survivors to flee their crumbling homes in pyjamas, some without shoes or coats. Aftershocks rumbled for hours while the rescue effort got underway and a second 7.5-magnitude quake hit on Monday afternoon, toppling buildings already damaged by the first huge tremor.
Roads and border crossings have been blocked and in some places destroyed, making the aid effort more difficult. Survivors have attempted to find shelter in cars or makeshift tents on the freezing ground, while rescuers continue to dig, sometimes with bare hands.
Aid agencies warned that supplies of food and water are running low and those left homeless desperately need warm clothing.
The face of a small child emerges from the wreckage of a block of flats in Afrin, Syria
The little girl says to the rescuer when he reaches her: Get me & my sister out from under this wreckage
In Hatay, former Newcastle and Everton footballer Christian Atsu, 31, was among those pulled from the rubble. Aid group the International Rescue Committee warned of ‘catastrophic humanitarian needs’ in Turkey and Syria, where electricity and gas supplies have also been severely affected. Meanwhile, the UK has sent 77 search and rescue specialists to Turkey with state-of-the-art equipment and four rescue dogs.
A British medical team, including surgeons and paramedics, was last night due to arrive in the disaster zone. Around 70 countries have pledged to provide help and many charities are running fundraising appeals. Turkish communities in Britain have already raised £300,000 and sent 300 boxes of aid.
King Charles sent a message to President Erdogan, saying he and Camilla were ‘most shocked and profoundly saddened’.
He added: ‘Our thoughts and special prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this appalling natural disaster – whether through injury or the destruction of their property – and also with the emergency services and those assisting in the rescue efforts.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk