ANKARA: In what is being viewed as a ‘miracle’, a three-year-old girl has been pulled alive from the rubble of a building nearly 91 hours after it collapsed due to a powerful earthquake in western Turkey.
The child has been identified as 3-year-old Ayda Gezgin. She was rescued on Monday morning from under the rubble of an apartment building that collapsed in Turkey's coastal city Izmir.
Confirming the news, Izmir mayor Tunc Soyer said, “We have witnessed a miracle in the 91st hour.” The mayor also shared a picture of the child and tweeted. “… Along with the great pain we have experienced, we have this joy as well.”
Several videos from the scene emerged showing an ashen-faced and wide-eyed Ayda, as she was freed from the wreckage of a building.
Ayda kızımızın kurtarılma anı...
Arama kurtarma çalışmalarımız son cana ulaşana kadar aralıksız devam edecek. pic.twitter.com/btJ4ppZ0Uk
— A F A D (@AFADBaskanlik) November 3, 2020
A rescuer, Nusret Aksoy, had heard a child scream before locating the girl next to a dishwasher. He said that Ayda waved at him, told him her name and said that she was OK.
Muammer Celik, the firefighter who pulled the girl from the rubble of her home, had told CNN that the girl held her hand tightly hand until he brought her to safety.
Terming this as a miracle, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted, “Ayda is the name of the miracle." "Thank you, God, to give us new hope with your smiley eyes," Erdogan tweeted.
At least 111 people died and 994 were injured after the earthquake -- measured as magnitude-7.0 by the US Geological Survey -- struck in the Aegean Sea on Friday, shaking parts of Greece and Turkey.
The quake struck 14 kilometers northeast of the town of Néon Karlovásion on Samos, the USGS reported, at a relatively shallow depth of 21 kilometers, making its impact powerfully felt at ground level around the epicenter.