Women pulled alive from Turkey quake debris nine days onon February 15, 2023 at 5:12 pm

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The women survived trapped beneath the rubble in Turkey despite freezing conditions.

Dozens of rescue workers stand around an ambulance in TurkeyImage source, Facebook/Mayor Muzaffer Biyik

Nine days after Turkey’s earthquake disaster, two women have been pulled from the rubble – alive.

Forty-two year old Melike Imamoglu and 74-year-old Cemile Kekec were saved by rescuers in the Turkish town of Kahramanmaras.

Their rescue came as workers turned their attention to cleaning up cities devastated by the disaster.

Millions of people across Syria and Turkey are living in makeshift camps and require humanitarian aid.

Video of the rescue posted to social media by the Mayor of Darica, Muzaffer Biyik, showed workers applauding and embracing one another as Ms Kekec was loaded into the ambulance.

Local media reported that when they found the 42-year-old survivor, Ms Imamoglu, they told her she was “awesome”.

In Hatay – another Turkish city badly affected by the earthquakes – local media reported that a mother and her two children were pulled alive from the rubble.

Ten days on from the disaster, it is becoming harder to find quake survivors. The combined death toll has now passed 41,000.

Foreign rescue workers who arrived in Turkey shortly after the quakes are beginning to pack up and return home, while locals are shifting their focus to cleaning up the debris.

Survivors must now begin to rebuild their lives. The Turkish government has encouraged people to return to their homes if possible, after authorities have declared they are safe.

But many have lost their homes and are living in makeshift camps. In Kahramanmaras, where the women were rescued, more than 1,000 survivors camped in a local stadium.

In Syria, relief efforts have been hampered by the civil war that has divided the country.

The UN did not provide aid to Syria for days, saying logistical issues were to blame.

When aid did arrive following the opening of a second border crossing through Turkey, rescuers said they did not supply any of the heavy machinery required to remove rubble.

“It has never happened before, that there was an earthquake somewhere and the international community and the UN don’t help,” said Raed Saleh, who is leading the White Rebels rescue force in opposition-held areas.

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