28 Oct 2011

" The Turkish authorities now say 570 people are known to have died in Sunday's 7.2-magnitude quake - more than 2,500 were injured."

A 13-year-old boy has been pulled alive from the rubble in south-eastern Turkey, 108 hours after an earthquake devastated his town. The injured boy was rescued from a collapsed building in Ercis. Just hours earlier a man was freed from a flattened apartment block and taken to hospital. The Turkish authorities now say 570 people are known to have died in Sunday's 7.2-magnitude quake - more than 2,500 were injured. So far 187 people have been rescued but hundreds are still missing and hopes are fading of finding more survivors. Rain and snow have been hindering the rescue and relief effort. The rescued boy, named Ferhat Tokay, was found alive late on Thursday and pulled out by search teams early on Friday morning. "We started digging and at first we saw his hand - then we started speaking to him," Baris Dogan, a member of the rescue team told Reuters news agency. "My feelings are inexplicable - it was like taking my own son out," he said. Ozgur Yildiz, a friend of the boy told Reuters: "We didn't believe he would die - he is a strong child. I feel so good right now and I'd like to say to him get well soon." Rescue workers say Ferhat Tokay was taken to hospital but appears to be in good health. Search teams continued to dig through the rubble of the building after the 13-year-old was rescued, searching for several other people from the same block who are thought to be missing. However, work has stopped at some other sites as the chances of finding anyone alive diminish. Waiting Pouring rain and in some places snow have brought further misery to the tens of thousands of people made homeless by the earthquake. Although the authorities are working to address a big shortage of tents, many people spent a fifth night outdoors. Large numbers of men are reported to have spent the night wondering the streets of Ercis, the worst hit town, with nowhere else to go, having settled their families in whatever shelter was available. In the provincial capital, Van, the damp conditions are also making it difficult for people to cope. Nimet, a mother of three, told Reuters she was tempted to return to her damaged home. "It looks fine from the outside, but inside it looks very unstable with all the cracks in the walls. What other choice do we have but to go back to our houses?" she said. "Last night it rained and all our belongings are still wet. I don't know how many more days we can stay in a tent like this." Aid supplies have been sent from several countries. On Thursday planes loaded with tents arrived in Turkey from France, Ukraine and Israel. (COURTESY OF THE BBC) This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION, its trustees or team members and volunteers globally.
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