IZMIR, TURKEY (AP) – Rescue forces in the Turkish city of Izmir dragged a living young girl out of the rubble of a collapsed apartment building on Tuesday, four days after a battle Strong earthquakes hit Turkey and Greece and the hope of reaching the survivors began to fade.
Wrapped in a thermal blanket, the girl was brought into an ambulance on a stretcher with applause and chants of “God is wonderful!” from lifeguards and onlookers.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca identified her as Ayda Gezgin, 3 years old on Twitter. The child has been trapped in the rubble for 91hours since Friday’s quake hit the Aegean Sea and is the 107th person pulled out of collapsed buildings alive.
After being pulled from the wreckage, little girl Ayda called her mother in a video of the rescue broadcast on television.
But Ayda’s mother did not survive. Her body was found amidst the wreckage a few hours later. Her brother and father were not present in the building at the time of the earthquake.
Rescue force Nusret Aksoy told reporters he was sifting through the wreckage of the toppled eight-story building when he heard a child’s scream and called for silence. Then he placed the girl in a cramped space next to a dishwasher.
The girl waved at him, told him her name and said she’s okay, Aksoy said.
“I got goosebumps and my colleague Ahmet cried,” he told TV channel HaberTurk.
Ibrahim Topal, of Humanitarian Aid, or IHH said: “My colleagues and I looked at each other like ‘Did you hear that too?’ We listened again. There was a very weak voice saying something like ‘I’m here.’ Then we turned everything off, the machines, and started listening again. And indeed there was a voice. “
Health ministry officials said the girl is in good condition but will be monitored in the hospital for a while. The state’s Anadolu agency reported that she ordered meatballs and yogurt drinks on her way to the hospital.
Her rescue comes a day after another 3-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl were also pulled from collapsed buildings in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the quake rose to 111, after rescue teams recovered more bodies from overthrown buildings in the city. Officials said 138 earthquake survivors are still in hospital, and three of them are in serious condition.
The US Geological Survey recorded the magnitude of the quake as 7.0, although other agencies recorded it as less severe.
The majority of the deaths and about 1,000 injuries occurred in Izmir. Two teenagers were also killed and 19 injured on the Greek island of Samos, near the epicenter of the earthquake in the Aegean Sea.
The quake also caused a small tsunami that hit Samos and the Seferihisar district of Izmir province, where an elderly woman drowned. The tremors were felt throughout western Turkey, including in Istanbul, as well as in the Greek capital Athens. Hundreds of aftershocks followed.
In Izmir, the quake has destroyed buildings or seen floors rubbed and authorities arrested nine people, including contractors, to question the collapse of six buildings.
Turkey has a mix of old buildings and cheap or illegal constructions that cannot withstand earthquakes. Regulations have been tightened to strengthen or demolish old buildings, and urban renewal is underway in Turkish cities, but experts say it is not going fast enough.
The country is located on two major fault lines and frequent earthquakes.
Fraser is from Ankara, Turkey.