As the earthquake death toll touches over 15,383 in Turkey, both grief and gratitude struggle to co-exist. Amidst the devastation captured on camera, there are stories of courage and resilience abound. Some heart-breaking, some reassuring, but above all stories of human spirit and hope.
A sleeping toddler
Somewhere, while combing through the rubble of a collapsed building, a team of rescuers managed pulling a toddler to safety. The young boy was surprised to have been woken up from sleep and greeted with a friendly, 'Good Morning.' The heart-breaking footage brought a little cheer.
???Massive quake hits Syria and Turkey: Rescue workers save a toddler from a collapsed building in Syria's Azaz. Dozens were killed and hundreds injured after a major earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Turkey and northwest Syria. pic.twitter.com/2Bkk2hCEzN— ?World News 24 ??? (@DailyWorld24) February 6, 2023
A new-born under the rubble
As southern Turkey and northern Syria have been reduced to mounds of crumbled concrete, death, despair and destruction lie all around. But the hope for survivors beneath collapsed buildings remains intact. In the northwestern town of Jinderes in Syria, an infant was born underneath the rubble. In a heart-wrenching development, the new-born baby girl was found with her umbilical cord attached to her mother. The new-born who was taken a hospital is doing fine, her mother did not survive.
CANT GET THIS IMAGE/VIDEO OF A NEW BORN BABY FOUND IN THE RUBBLE IN TURKEY OUT OF MY HEAD! My heartaches by this tragic earthquake ??? #TurkeyEarthquake #baby #PrayForTurkey pic.twitter.com/JuLYpw4lpj— SAIHYA (@Saihya_) February 7, 2023
Little child who survived
In Syria, in the same city, a four-year-old girl Noor was found from amidst rubble of concrete. In the video gone viral, originally shared by Syrian Civil Defence, an unidentified volunteer can be seen comforting the child. "Your father is here. Don't be scared, Noor, please look at me. Talk to your father."
Oblivious of the death around
Irony of life and age couldn't be better highlighted than by a little child who immediately started playing with aid workers after being rescued from the rubble. The young Syrian boy was happy and playful and spread his infectious cheer to the rescue workers who couldn't stop beaming too.
A young Syrian boy smiled and started to play with rescue workers who pulled him from the rubble of a building that was destroyed following deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria pic.twitter.com/kM3Qt4UqvG— Reuters (@Reuters) February 8, 2023
A syrian girl being talked out of debris
Yet another short video clip shows a young Syrian girl named Lily being not just extracted out of the debris but being calmed down and being talked to by the rescue worker.
With calm and care, the #WhiteHelmets rescue worker spoke to Lily to soothe her as he successfully extracted her from the debris of her home in the city of Salqin, located to the west of #Idlib, on Monday evening.#Syria #earthquake pic.twitter.com/y71xfjC3av— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) February 7, 2023
"I don't like it here"
As per UNICEF, children in Syria continue to face one of the most complex humanitarian situations in the world. In yet another heart-warming footage, a Syrian girl, while being rescued by the crew, can be heard telling them she doesn't like it there.
A Syrian girl cries under the rubble and tells the Syrian Civil Defense in Idlib to get her out of here because she does not like this place. pic.twitter.com/di6dj8Wb6w— Qusay Noor (@QUSAY_NOOR_) February 7, 2023
Four-year-old survived for 33 hours
Early Monday morning, powerful earthquakes shook Turkey and Syria, bringing down buildings and burying thousands inside their homes, while they slept. Aid workers and rescue operations have been working against time and weather as it's been cold and even snowing. In Hatay, the southernmost province of Turkish, another four-year-old defied all possible odds by surviving for more than 33 hours since the earthquake hit. The child was trapped in the first floor of a ruined three-storey building. In the footage shared by Turkish News Outlet she can be seen being carried to safety.
The moment that the Syrian civil defense help workers rescuing a child from the rubble of the earthquake in #Jinderis, west of #Efrin. #syriaearthquake— Afshin Ismaeli (@Afshin_Ismaeli) February 7, 2023
Source: SCD pic.twitter.com/RY47iUTwlA
Gratitude and struggle lie ahead
For those who survived, their homes and neighbourhoods, have all been taken away; past two days have been an ordeal and life ahead is a struggle. But there is immense gratitude. "God gave me a new lease of life," said Osama Abdel Hamid, as reported by CBC. Hamid can't be thankful enough, as he, his wife and four children all survived. Roused by a powerful prolonged shaking, all of them ran from the apartment but were held back and shielded by a wooden door of the building.