Turkey-Syria earthquake: Newborn rescued from rubble as authorities race against time to find survivors

A little girl was reportedly rescued from the rubble of her home in northern Syria after Monday’s massive earthquake.

Her umbilical cord was still attached to her mother when she was found, a relative told local media.

Her mother is said to have died after giving birth.

Watch the latest news on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>

“We heard a voice while digging,” said cousin Khalil al-Suwadi.

“We cleaned up the dust and found the baby with the umbilical cord (intact) so we cut it and my cousin took her to the hospital.”

The baby’s mother is said to have died after giving birth. Credit: Ghaith Alsayed/AP via CNN

The rescued newborn is now being treated at a children’s hospital in the city of Afrin, where pediatrician Hani Maarouf said he is stable but has arrived with bruises, cuts and hypothermia.

According to Suwadi, she is believed to be the sole survivor of her immediate family. They lived in a five-story apartment building that was leveled by the quake.

Survivors are still being pulled from the rubble in Syria and Turkey, where a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck early Monday morning local time.

The official death toll from the quake has risen to more than 8,700 as overwhelmed rescuers warn the number will increase significantly as families are still trapped under the rubble.

The rescue effort was complicated by freezing conditions, blocked roads, damaged infrastructure and several powerful aftershocks.

In Turkey, many people spent a second night in freezing temperatures, sleeping under blankets in their cars or on the street, worried about going back into buildings hit by the country’s deadliest earthquake since 1999.

Search teams and relief workers have poured into Turkey and Syria while rescue workers work in freezing temperatures. Credit: AP
Perth woman Ozgur Ozturk has family missing in Turkey. Credit: 7NEWS

A Perth family with loved ones in Turkey has spoken out about their heartbreak and helplessness, with more than six relatives still missing.

Ozgur Ozturk has relatives in southern Turkey and tells how her sister and brother-in-law found a school to sleep in after being forced to live in their cars in freezing temperatures.

The Booragoon mother also lost a cousin in the disaster, while the family that survived search for others in the devastation

“Sometimes you just cry, but you run out of tears because there’s just nothing you can do,” she said.

“All we can do is keep texting them and calling them and talking to them to show them we’re here for them.”

The 7.8 magnitude tremor shook Turkey and Syria. Credit: AP
The quake brought down hundreds of buildings. Credit: AP

In Antakya, southern Turkey, survivor Melek, 64, said she saw no rescue teams.

“Where are the tents, where are the food trucks? Unlike previous disasters in our country, we have not seen food distribution here,” she said. “We survived the earthquake, but we will die here of hunger or cold.”

As the scale of the disaster becomes clearer, the death toll – now 6,234 in Turkey – is likely to continue to rise.

In neighboring Syria, already devastated by 11 years of war, the death toll rose to more than 2,500 overnight, according to the Syrian government and an emergency medical service operating in the rebel-held northwest.


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency in ten provinces. But residents of several damaged Turkish cities have expressed anger and despair at what they say is a slow and inadequate response from the authorities.

The first quake hit just after 4 a.m. Monday, in the middle of the night in the middle of winter, giving the sleeping population little chance to react.

Erdogan, who faces tight elections in May, is expected to visit some of the affected areas on Wednesday.

About 13.5 million people were affected in an area stretching about 450 kilometers from Adana in the west to Diyarbakir in the east – wider than that between Boston and Philadelphia or Amsterdam and Paris, according to Turkish authorities.

The quake, followed hours later by a second of almost equal magnitude, collapsed thousands of buildings, including hospitals, schools and apartment blocks, injuring tens of thousands and leaving countless people homeless in Turkey and northern Syria.

The Turkish President declares a three-month state of emergency

The Turkish President declares a three-month state of emergency

Rescue workers struggled to reach some of the hardest-hit areas, held back by destroyed roads, inclement weather and a lack of resources and heavy equipment. Some areas are without fuel and electricity.

Aid workers have expressed particular concern at the situation in Syria, where humanitarian needs are already greater than at any time since the outbreak of a conflict that has divided the nation and hampered relief efforts.

The head of the World Health Organization said rescue efforts are facing a race against time, with the chances of finding living survivors dwindling by the minute and hour.

In Syria, an ambulance operating in the insurgent-held northwest said the death toll rose to more than 1,280 and more than 2,600 injured.

“The number is expected to increase significantly due to the presence of hundreds of families under the rubble more than 50 hours after the earthquake,” the emergency services said on Twitter.

The World Health Organization says the chances of finding survivors alive are dwindling by the minute and hour. Credit: EPA

Overnight, the Syrian health minister said the death toll in government-held areas had risen to 1,250, state-run al-Ikhbariya news agency reported in its Telegram feed. The number of wounded was 2,054, he said.

The deadliest earthquake to hit Turkey in a generation has left Erdogan with a huge rescue and reconstruction challenge that will overshadow the run-up to May’s elections in what will already be the toughest of his two decades in power.

The vote, which pre-quake polls say is too close, will determine how Turkey will be governed, where its economy will go and what role the regional power and NATO member could play in tackling conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East to defuse.

– With CNN and AAP

Family fined over $100 for parking at McDonalds

Family fined over $100 for parking at McDonalds

https://7news.com.au/weather/earthquakes/newborn-baby-rescued-from-rubble-as-authorities-race-against-time-to-find-survivors-of-turkey-syria-earthquake-c-9695161 Turkey-Syria earthquake: Newborn rescued from rubble as authorities race against time to find survivors

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: jamesbrien@24ssports.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button