Several survivors rescued over a week after earthquake in Turkey

At least seven survivors were rescued on Tuesday from the rubble of earthquake-hit areas of Turkey, local media reported, eight days after the worst quake in the country's modern history.

Tens of thousands of survivors in Turkey and Syria, meanwhile, are seeking shelter after Feb. 6 quake

Several rescue crew members dressed in red are shown, some carrying a stretcher in the direction of an ambulances amid rubble and a crowded urban setting.
A woman is rescued from the rubble of a building some 203 hours after last week's devastating earthquake, in Hatay, Turkey, on Tuesday. (Reuters)

At least seven survivors were rescued on Tuesday from the rubble of earthquake-hit areas of Turkey, local media reported, eight days after the worst quake in the country's modern history.

It included a woman pulled out from ruins of a building in the southern Turkish province of Hatay by Ukrainian rescue workers, broadcaster CNN Turk reported.

Earlier on Tuesday, an 18-year-old named Muhammed Cafer was rescued from the rubble of a building in southern Turkey some 198 hours after last Monday's earthquake, CNN Turk said.

Broadcasters showed rescue workers carrying Cafer strapped on a stretcher, an oxygen mask on his face and a health worker holding an IV bag, from the site of the collapsed building in Adiyman province to a waiting ambulance.

Cafer could be seen moving his fingers as he was carried away.

A short while earlier, rescue workers pulled two brothers alive from the ruins of an apartment block in neighbouring Kahramanmaras province.

State-owned Anadolu news agency identified them as 17-year-old Muhammed Enes Yeninar and his brother, 21-year-old Baki Yeninar, who was rescued after him.

WATCH | Teenagers pulled from rubble in separate rescues Tuesday:

2 teens rescued from under collapsed buildings in Turkey

3 months ago
Duration 0:51
An 18-year-old from Adiyaman, Turkey, and a 17-year-old from Kahramanmaras have been pulled to safety by rescue teams after being trapped for more than a week under buildings that collapsed after last week's earthquakes.

They were both placed in ambulances and taken to hospital. Their condition was unclear.

Three other women, two in Hatay province and one in Kahramanmaras city, were also rescued on Tuesday, Turkish media reported.

The combined death toll in Turkey and neighbouring Syria from the disaster now exceeds 41,000.

The Turkish death toll was 35,418 killed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday. More than 5,814 have died in Syria, according to a Reuters tally of reports from Syrian state media and a UN agency.

'We will start from zero'

Other survivors joined a mass exodus from earthquake-hit zones in Turkey on Tuesday, some leaving their homes with little hope of coming back or seeing loved ones pulled away from the rubble, at a time when some of the rescue teams are leaving.

"It is very hard.… We will start from zero, without belongings, without a job," said 22-year-old Hamza Bekry, a Syrian originally from Idlib who has lived in Hatay, in southern Turkey, for 12 years.

"Our house collapsed completely. Several of our relatives died. There are still ones under the rubble," he went on, as he prepared to follow his family to Isparta in southern Turkey.

WATCH | Survivor made banging noises after voice went hoarse:

Turkish woman survives 5 days trapped under earthquake rubble

3 months ago
Duration 2:21
A woman in Turkey whose rescue was captured by a CBC News camera is now recovering in hospital after being trapped under earthquake rubble for nearly five days. Her family is grateful, and her doctors say she was rescued just in time.

He will become one of more than 158,000 people who have evacuated the vast swath of southern Turkey hit by the quake, one of the deadliest temblors in the region's modern history.

The disaster has devastated whole cities in both countries, leaving survivors homeless in the bitter cold, at times sleeping on piles of rubble.

"I do not have a lot of expectation from this life but the lives of our children are important," Riza Atahan, from Hatay, said as he put his wife and daughter on a bus heading to safety some 300 kilometres away.

Several people are shown in coats and hats, some holding signs and other shouting.
Demonstrators hold placards during a protest against the government's handling of the earthquake response, in Istanbul, on Monday. (Kurtulus Ari/The Associated Press)

Dozens of residents and first responders voiced bewilderment at a lack of water, food, medicine, body bags and cranes in the disaster zone in the first days after the quake.

"People are not dead because of the earthquake, they are dead because of precautions that weren't taken earlier," said Said Qudsi who lost his uncle, aunt and their two sons in the quake.

Turkey's Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum has said some 42,000 buildings had either collapsed, were in urgent need of demolition or severely damaged across 10 cities.

Syria rescues becoming less likely

In Syria's shattered Aleppo city, United Nations aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Monday that the rescue phase was "coming to a close," with the focus turning to shelter, food and schooling as low temperatures reduced the already slim chances of survival.

In a public playground in Turkey's southeastern city of Gaziantep, Syrian refugees made homeless by the quake used plastic sheets, blankets, cardboard and broken up pieces of furniture to erect makeshift tents on a patch of grass.

Six children are seen either sitting or standing outside on ground covered with rocks and stones.
Displaced Syrian children sit at a temporary accommodation centre erected to support people affected by the devastating earthquake, in Gaziantep, Turkey, on Tuesday. (Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters)

"People are suffering a lot. We applied to receive tent, aid or something but until now we didn't receive anything," said Hassan Saimoua, a refugee staying with his family in the playground.

The search for survivors is about to end in the opposition-held northwest of Syria eight days after the quake, the head of the White Helmets main rescue group, Raed al Saleh, said.

"The indications we have are that there are not any [survivors] but we are trying to do our final checks on all sites," he said.

A first convoy of UN aid entered rebel-held northwest Syria from Turkey via the newly opened Bab al-Salam crossing on Tuesday, two UN spokespeople said, as the world body ramps up relief efforts.

The UN had so far sent more than 50 trucks of aid through another crossing, Bab al-Hawa. It said on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had allowed the use of two more crossings, Bab al-Salam and al-Raee, for an initial period of three months.

LISTEN | For Syrian refugees, earthquakes add to an already precarious situation:

More than 20,000 people were killed in the earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday. It was the deadliest to hit Turkey since 1939 and it hit one of the world’s largest refugee populations head-on. There are millions of displaced Syrians living on both sides of the border between Turkey and Syria where the quake hit hardest. Zaina Erhaim is a Syrian journalist who spent time as a refugee in southern Turkey. Her mother was in southern Turkey when the earthquake struck.

A spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) told Reuters the agency was "the first humanitarians to send 11 trucks through Bab al-Salam crossing point," on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the UN appealed for nearly $400 million US to address urgent humanitarian needs over the next three months, noting that 8.8 million Syrians had been affected, mostly in the country's northwest.