In the bitter cold weather, relief workers in Turkey and Syria continue to race against time to search tirelessly to rescue survivors under the rubble of thousands of buildings that collapsed in the earthquake that struck at dawn on Monday, February 6, 2023.
Thousands of video clips have circulated on social media platforms documenting the difficult times of rescue operations and each has revealed a painful story that will not be erased from memory.
Here are some of the moments
Turkish channel TRT Haber, published a video clip and wrote, “In Malatya, a small child was rescued from the rubble with the joint work of the fire department and the special operations police. The fireman showed his joy by kissing the boy.”
The excavator driver Osman succeeded in rescuing his 61-year-old Turkish father, Salman Aydemir, from under the rubble. The old man survived after 47 hours passed under the rubble.
In a video clip, it shows Othman driving an excavator and trying for hours to remove the rubble that was on top of his father, so that his tears fell after he saw his father get out of the rubble with the help of the rescuers.
In a video, full of innocence, despite the magnitude and devastation of the earthquake disaster, a Syrian child emerged after spending 40 hours under the rubble with a smile on his face and began to caress those around him.
At first the child seemed surprised at what was happening, then he began to smile, interact and caress his surroundings to the sound of cheers and takbeers from the rescuers.
The Syrian Civil Defense, the White Helmets, wrote on its official page on Twitter, “Miracles are repeated and the takbeers embrace the sky again, moments filled with joy with the rescue of the child Karam from among the ruins of a destroyed house in the village of “Armanaz” in Idlib countryside on the first day of the earthquake.”
Social media users shared a video clip of part of the dialogue between the rescuer and the child, while the rescue operation was taking place from under the rubble of the building in the Syrian town of Jenderes.
“You and I will go out together.” With these words, a Syrian Civil Defense volunteer tried to reassure a child during his rescue operation from under the rubble of his destroyed house in northern Syria.
Indeed, the rescuer came out of the gap in which the child was, after the rescue team managed to get him out.
A video clip circulated on social media platforms, showing a Syrian man injured in the earthquake, who refused to go to the hospital for treatment, and insisted on staying at the rubble of his house until the body of his wife was recovered from under the rubble, northwest of Idlib.
Syrian journalist Jamil al-Hassan published a video clip that was widely circulated, showing the Syrian husband watching the process of exhuming his wife’s body with tears in his eyes.
Among these video clips is a video of an elderly man in Syria asking for water for ablution so as not to miss the prayer while he was stuck under the rubble.
In another viral video, hen rescuers in Syria managed to pull a baby alive from the arms of his deceased father.
The video shows rescuers pulling the body of a man from the rubble while holding his child. The surprise was when it turned out that the child had survived due to the father’s protection.
Another video clip of the infant in the town of Jenderes, spread on social media, after a group of men pulled her out of the rubble of a destroyed building.
A man ran out from behind a yellow bulldozer carrying the baby naked, save for a layer of blood-tinged dust that covered her emaciated body, from which the umbilical cord hung, in the freezing heat.
The newborn was taken to a clinic in the nearby town of Afrin for treatment while her relatives spent several hours recovering the bodies of her mother, father Abdullah, four brothers and aunt.
Death toll is rising
At dawn on Monday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria, followed by another hours later with a magnitude of 7.6 and dozens of aftershocks, leaving huge losses of lives and property in both countries.
In Turkey, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority announced earlier that the number of earthquake deaths had risen to more than 16,170, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that the death toll from the earthquake in Syria had risen to about 3,600.
The total number of earthquake victims reached 20,000 dead, and more than 65,000 injured so far, amid aftershocks hitting the region.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) said it expects the worst, and fears that “the outcome will be eight times higher than the first numbers” published.