Saturday Feb 18, 2023
ANTAKYA: Turkish rescuers on Friday pulled a 45-year-old man from rubble nearly 12 days after a devastating quake claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Teams have been finding survivors all week despite them being stuck for so long under the rubble in freezing weather, although their numbers have dropped to just a handful in the past few days.
The man, Hakan Yasinoglu, was rescued 278 hours after the 7.8-magnitude tremor in badly hit Hatay, a southern province near the Syrian border.
Images on social media showed rescuers gingerly carrying a stretcher with the man through the ruins of a flattened building.
He was tied down to the stretcher to avoid a fall, and covered with a golden thermal jacket.
He was immediately placed in a waiting ambulance and whisked away.
His face could not be seen, and unlike other late rescues, where teams rejoiced or applauded, the mood on the ground seemed sombre.
Three other people were rescued late Thursday and early Friday, including a 14-year-old boy, with the search at some sites continuing around the clock.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay on Friday said rescue efforts continued at fewer than 200 sites in the region.
The quake has killed more than 41,000 people in Turkey and Syria, injured tens of thousands of others and left millions without shelter in freezing temperatures.
The tremor struck 11 provinces in Turkey. Turkish officials have said rescue efforts in three provinces, Adana, Kilis and Sanliurfa, have been completed.