Joy as infant plucked from Turkey quake rubble
Rescuers plucked a two-week-old baby girl from the rubble today 48 hours after a devastating earthquake killed at least 366 people in Turkey, energising the desperate search effort.world Updated: Oct 25, 2011 19:52 IST
Rescuers plucked a two-week-old baby girl from the rubble today 48 hours after a devastating earthquake killed at least 366 people in Turkey, energising the desperate search effort.
As the body bags piled up and the Red Crescent warned that hundreds or even thousands of people remained buried under the debris, the rescue of the infant named Azra sparked joy amid the otherwise grim task.
The rescue workers reached the baby after hours of frantic digging around her home in the worst-hit town of Ercis and were working to free the mother whose name was given as Semiha. The father was missing, rescuers said.
Emergency teams had earlier pulled a pregnant woman and her two children alive from the rubble in Ercis as they laboured through the night under search lights with the help of sniffer dogs.
"Hundreds, possibly thousands of people are still trapped under the rubble," said Jessica Sallabank, a spokeswoman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The IFRC said that 2,256 buildings -- mostly apartments --were destroyed during the quake which struck on Sunday afternoon, its epicentre focused on the eastern province of Van.
An update from the prime minister's office put the death toll at 366, adding that more than 1,300 people had been injured.
The population of the region is mainly Kurdish and the quake came amid a major army operation targeting the separatist PKK militia in response to a series of deadly attacks.