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Millions of children trapped in the catastrophic earthquake in Syria and Turkey


Shocking accounts of humanitarian disaster. Rescue teams desperately try to reunite them with their families.

A baby born under the rubble and rescued, alive, hours later.

Two girls lying in the rubble of a collapsed building.

A child hanging from a roof, reciting the Muslim death prayer.

A teenager recording himself under the ruins of his house, wondering if he will live or die.

Shocking images have surfaced of some of the

millions of children trapped by the catastrophic earthquake

in Turkey and Syria.

Some have been rescued alive, looking shocked, disheveled, their clothes, skin and hair covered in dust.

Others have not been so lucky,

their corpses having been wrapped in blankets and left by the roadside

or embraced by grieving parents.

Some children are the only survivors in their families or have not been identified;

rescue teams desperately try to reunite them with their relatives.

A man carries the body of a child in the city of Jindires, in Aleppo province.


"It is unlikely that a single child has escaped unharmed, physically or psychologically, from the areas devastated by the earthquake," said UNICEF spokesman Joe English.

English said there were still no clear figures on how many children were among the victims and among the population rescued from the rubble.

In many places, residents are pulling children out with their bare hands.

Khalil al Shami, 34, was digging through the rubble of his brother's building in the Syrian town of Jinderes on Monday

when he saw his sister-in-law's legs and a girl still attached to her by the umbilical cord


She had given birth while she was trapped under the rubble.

Shami said in an interview that he cut the dust-covered umbilical cord, and the baby let out a cry.

She said that she kept digging and digging, thinking that her mother was still alive too.

Her sister-in-law did not survive, but her niece is safe in a hospital.

"The mother was supposed to give birth the next day, but it seems she gave birth in shock," Shami said.

In another Syrian town, video shows two little girls trapped under rubble, one on top of the other, as a man tries to pull them out.

He asks them: "Do you know how to play?", and one of the girls shouts: "No, no, take me out."

Some boys sitting in a supermarket trolley at the place where a building collapsed, after the earthquake in Hatay (Turkey).

(REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

A teenager in a dusty red shirt films himself under the twisted metal and bricks that remain of his house.

He said that

he did not know how to describe what he was feeling

, not knowing if he would live or die.

Then a scream is heard on the video.

"More than two, three families are trapped. Their screams and those of our neighbors are heard. God help us," says the boy in the video.

Many families, who have fled their homes in freezing temperatures, wearing only their nightwear, take refuge in cars or public spaces such as mosques and schools.

For the children of Syria,

the earthquake comes after 12 years of suffering accumulated by the war, poverty

and the multiple displacements of families who fled the conflict.

"It's trauma on trauma. It's heartbreak on heartbreak," said UNICEF's English.

"There is a long road to recovery."

The immediate objective of the UN is to guarantee that affected children and families have access to drinking water and sanitation services - essential to prevent disease in the first days of a crisis - and nutrition kits.

UNICEF is also preparing to provide psychological help.

c.2023 The New York Times Company

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-08

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