Rescue workers on Saturday fought their way through the rubble of eight buildings which collapsed in Turkey’s western city of Izmir, where a 6.6-magnitude earthquake killed at least 35 people.
Three women were rescued from the rubble of a collapsed residential building on Saturday (October 31) after being trapped under the debris for more than 10 hours.
In another instance, a mother and three of her children were pulled to safety on Saturday after being trapped for almost 18 hours under a building in the western Turkish city of Izmir that was flattened in a powerful earthquake.
These two instances provided Turkish rescue workers with some hope amidst the devastation that followed a powerful earthquake that hit the Aegean Sea the previous afternoon.
Search and rescue work intensified in nine buildings including the residency “Yilmaz Erdek” that was completely brought down with the tremble.
The three women were rescued from the site of the building after remaining being stranded for more than ten hours. 35-year-old Gulcin Aykut Soykan and 53-year old Fadime Tolu were rushed to the hospital after being brought to safety. Another woman Hulya Ozbek, was brought to safety on foot 17 hours after the strong earthquake.
Officials said at least 20 buildings were destroyed in Izmir’s Bayrakli district Bayrakli was in the process of urban transformation due to lack of earthquake resistance. 300 tents have already been set up in the district and surrounding neighborhoods as 600 more tents planned to be provided for survivors.
urkish President Tayyip Erdogan, speaking in a televised address, said 885 people were injured, 15 of them critically.
In Izmir, the rescue work was punctuated by frequent aftershocks, of which Turkey’s disaster agency recorded around 520.
By Saturday afternoon search operations had been completed in eight buildings and were continuing in nine others, officials said.
One resident said both her parents were still trapped. “I couldn’t get any news. I couldn’t get any news,” the woman told Reuters, when asked about attempts to reach them.
As bulldozers removed debris from collapsed buildings while rescuers dismantled walls by hand, Environment Minister Murat Kurum said some 100 people had been rescued so far.
The first 300 of 900 tents provided for those made homeless were erected in the city.
Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. Cooperation between the two countries after a devastating quake in 1999 led to a period of warmer ties between them.