Almost ten days after the severe earthquake, a boy was rescued from the rubble, according to the fire department. The 13-year-old Mustafa was freed after 228 hours in the city of Antakya, the Istanbul emergency services said on Wednesday evening. Video shows firefighters and miners trying to approach the youth, who is then carried out of the rubble on a stretcher. The information could not be independently verified.
More than 35,000 people have been reported dead in Turkey alone. Many people still miss people in the rubble. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised on Monday that the rescue work would not be stopped until all those buried underneath had been recovered. Meanwhile, many are sharing wanted ads on social media hoping to find their loved ones in hospitals. More than 13,000 people injured in the quake are still being treated in hospitals, but some cannot be identified, as a hospital worker in Adana told dpa. In many places, the infrastructure for health care was severely damaged.
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The fact that people are still being rescued so long after the disaster is mainly due to the weather, said the vice-chairman of the Turkish Medical Association in Adana, Ali Ihsan Ökten, the dpa on Thursday. "The bodily functions of those who are buried go down in the weather," so the body saves itself. If the catastrophe had happened in summer, people would never have been able to survive without water for so long. In Antakya, for example, temperatures often rise to more than 30 degrees in midsummer.
But even those that are now found are absolute exceptions. Because the winter weather is of course also a risk: "Very, very many froze to death in the rubble," says Ökten. He suspects that many of those now rescued would have had some access to water. In some regions it snowed and rained in between. That could also have been the water supply of some buried people.