Rescue earthquake Turkey takes almost 150 hours: ‘You are a miracle’

A girl on a stretcher

Rescuers pull 12-year-old Cudie from the rubble of a collapsed building in Hatay, southern Turkey, 147 hours after the earthquake

Rescuers have pulled a seven-month-old baby from the rubble of a building in Hatay, southern Turkey, 139 hours after Monday’s deadly earthquake.

Elsewhere in Hatay, a 12-year-old girl, Cudie, was rescued after being trapped for 147 hours.

State media also reported a 13-year-old rescued in Gaziantep on Sunday, with rescuers saying, “You are a miracle.”

The number of confirmed deaths in Turkey and Syria has risen to more than 30,000.

Syria has not reported an updated death toll since Friday, so the true number is likely higher.

Hopes of finding many more survivors are fading and on the ground is a feeling that the rescue mission will soon end.

The Syrian Civil Defense Force, or White Helmets, which operates in rebel-held areas of the country, has told the BBC the group’s search efforts are winding down.

But tens of thousands of rescuers continue their search at night in the stricken areas of Turkey and Syria.

The seven-month-old baby, Hamza, was rescued on Saturday and footage released by local authorities showed rescuers encouraging and hugging each other.

Separate video from the Turkish Ministry of Health showed a little girl in a neck brace looking around as she was carried on a stretcher in the same province later Sunday morning.

And images showed how a father and daughter were taken from a building in Hatay. “He wants two cups of good tea,” said one of the rescuers.

But as the rescues wind down, the focus turns to recovery – and taking the situation into account.

Thousands of buildings collapsed in the quake, raising the question of whether the impact of the natural disaster was compounded by human error.

Turkish President Erdogan has admitted shortcomings in the response, but seemed to blame fate on a visit to a disaster area earlier this week.

“Things like that have always happened,” he said. “It’s part of destiny’s plan.”

Officials say they have issued 113 arrest warrants in connection with the construction of collapsed buildings, arresting 12 people, including contractors.

Rescuers in Syria have criticized the international response to the disaster, with UN relief chief Martin Griffiths saying the world has “failed the people of northwestern Syria”.

“They rightly feel abandoned. Looking for international aid that has not arrived,” he said.

Ismail al Abdullah, of the White Helmets, told BBC’s Quentin Sommerville that the international community has “blood on its hands”.

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