Earthquake Turkey-Syria: Turkish broadcasters call Aleyna Ölmez “miracle girl” who was rescued alive 248 hours after the quake


A 17-year-old was dubbed a “miracle girl” when she was pulled alive from the rubble 248 hours after a deadly earthquake that shook southern Turkey as rescue efforts were shifted to salvage operations ten days after the disaster.

According to the authorities, more than 42,000 people died in Turkey and neighboring Syria after the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6. Efforts to recover survivors have been hampered by a cold winter spell in quake-hit regions as authorities grapple with the logistical challenges of transporting relief supplies to northwest Syria amid an acute humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by years of political wrangling .

Earlier Thursday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced an appeal for $1 billion in support for Turkey’s earthquake relief efforts over three months. It comes two days after the UN launched an emergency appeal for $397 million in earthquake relief for Syria, also covering a three-month period, as humanitarian organizations stress the need for psychological and mental health services in the affected regions.

Aleyna Olmez is rescued alive from the rubble of a collapsed apartment in Kahramanmaras, southern Turkey, on February 16, 2023.

The crew of the Turkish state news channel TRT Haber visited the teenager Aleyna Ölmez in the hospital room after the rescue operation and spoke with her, her doctors and family members. TRT-Haber cameras, speaking from her hospital bed, showed Aleyna’s eyes open, her body covered to the neck and tubes inserted for oxygen supplements.

Alyena was taken directly to Kahramanmaraş Sutcu Imam University Faculty of Medicine after Thursday’s rescue operation.

A video showed Aleyna’s aunt and grandmother next to her bed, touching her face and kissing her hands. When the TRT Haber correspondent used a microphone to ask Aleyna how she was, Aleyna shook her head and smiled.

Rescue team miners gather after Aleyna Olmez, named the

Aleyna’s doctor, Prof. Dilber, expressed great surprise at Aleyna’s good health, telling TRT Haber, “She couldn’t eat or drink the whole time (when she was under the rubble), but she was still in good condition.”

dr Dilber added, “Since she couldn’t move at all under the rubble, we could say her inactivity protected Aleyna a little and she needed energy and persevered through this time, but I don’t think we can explain it that way. ”

When Aleyna was taken to the hospital, she was conscious and was speaking to the doctors. “We have made the necessary interventions. Body imaging was done and blood tests were done. She was in very good condition,” said Dr. Dilber versus TRT Haber.

“There was no hypothermia. Blood tests also showed very good kidney functions. Muscle enzymes were not too high. Fluid therapy began immediately. After the fluid therapy, Aleyna still spoke to us very well,” he added.

Hacer Atlas, a member of the search and rescue team that rescued the young quake victim, told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency that they were able to reach Aleyna after a long and tiring effort.

“First we held her hand, then we got her out. She is in very good condition and can communicate. I hope we continue to get good news about her,” Atlas said of the moment they found Aleyna.

TRT Haber later reported that Aleyna was taken to the Turkish capital, Ankara, by plane.

Another quake survivor defied predictions that survival time was up earlier this week when a 77-year-old woman was pulled alive from the rubble on Tuesday in the city of Adiyaman, about 212 hours after the quake, Anadolu reported.

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