Rescues of February 14, 8 days after the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey 1:17
More than nine days after a powerful earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria, rescuers were still pulling people out of the rubble, defying predictions that the time for survival had passed.
On Wednesday, Turkey's Ministry of National Defense released a video showing rescuers pulling a 77-year-old woman out of the rubble in the city of Adiyaman on Tuesday, some 212 hours after the earthquake.
Turkey's state news agency Anadolu identified her as Fatma Gungor and said her family hugged her after they saved her.
Then on Wednesday another woman, identified as Melike İmamoğlu, 45, was rescued after 222 hours in the rubble in the city of Kahramanmaras, according to Turkish state television TRT Haber.
Earlier, rescue teams in southern Turkey said they were still hearing the voices of trapped survivors.
Rescuers in Turkey say voices can still be heard under the rubble
Search and rescue efforts continue in Hatay province, Turkey on February 15, 2023. (Credit: Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Live footage broadcast on Tuesday by CNN affiliate CNN Turk showed rescuers working in two areas of the Kahramanmaras region, where they were trying to save three sisters, but it is unclear if the sisters survived.
In the same region, emergency teams saved a 35-year-old woman who is believed to have been buried for around 205 hours, according to state broadcaster TRT Haber.
Others were also rescued, two brothers, two men and one woman, all on Tuesday, eight days after the earthquake.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, who is based in Turkey's Hatay province, says it is unusual for people to survive more than 100 hours trapped in rubble;
most are rescued within 24 hours.
However, he says that freezing temperatures in the earthquake zone can extend the survival times of those trapped.
“Cold is a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it makes it very difficult, right now it's below zero… On the other hand, it can reduce water demands.
Maybe that is playing in my favor, ”he said.
"There's not a lot of data on how long people could survive in these situations, but we're seeing those rescues 200 hours later."
Rescuers in Turkey find three people alive 198 hours after the earthquake
Turkish rescuers sleep in rubble to accompany survivors 0:46
A "traumatized" population
Meanwhile, in Syria, rescue operations are starting to turn into recovery efforts, with UN workers rushing to funnel aid to survivors in the country via two new government-approved border crossings in Damascus. .
Eleven trucks carrying UN aid crossed into northwestern Syria through the Bab Al-Salam crossing on Tuesday, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths tweeted, adding that 26 more trucks entered the region through the crossing. of Bab Al Hawa.
On both sides of the border, the World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized the need to “focus on trauma rehabilitation” when treating disaster-affected populations.
The WHO representative in Turkey, Batyr Berdyklychev, highlighted the "growing problem" of a "traumatized population", highlighting the need for psychological and mental health services in the affected regions.
"Only now are people beginning to realize what happened to them after this period of shock," Berdyklychev told a news conference in the Turkish city of Adana on Tuesday.
The WHO is negotiating with the Turkish authorities to ensure that earthquake survivors can access mental health services, Berdyklychev added, noting that many people displaced by the quake to other areas of the country "will also need to be reached."
WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said the "immediate priority" for the 22 emergency medical teams deployed by WHO to Turkey was "to deal with the large number of trauma patients and catastrophic injuries."