Dozens of Survivors Pulled From Rubble of Earthquake That Shook Turkey, Greece

Published in 31 October, 2020

At a Glance

  • The quake killed 28 people in Turkey.

  • Two died in Greece.

  • More than 800 are injured.

Rescuers have pulled dozens of survivors from the rubble of a major earthquake that destroyed buildings and killed at least 30 people in Turkey and Greece.

Search efforts are focused in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city, where most of the damage occurred.

“We continue our search and rescue activities in Izmir with 5,000 personnel,” Murat Kurum, Turkey’s minister of environment and urban planning, said on Twitter Saturday. “Our search and rescue efforts were completed in nine of the 17 destroyed buildings, and nearly 100 of our citizens were rescued alive. Our priority and effort is to reach our citizens under the wreckage safely.”

Video posted by the country’s disaster agency showed a woman being pulled from the wreckage Saturday morning.

Kurum said priority would also be placed today on inspecting buildings so that residents can return home.

At least 28 people were killed in Turkey and 885 injured, according to the latest news release from the disaster agency.

Two people were killed on the Greek island of Samos.

One of the dead in Turkey drowned, but the disaster agency did not give further details. A small tsunami generated by the earthquake flooded streets in coastal areas of Izmir and Samos.

The quake was rated 7.0 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 1:51 p.m. local time Friday and was centered in the Aegean Sea between Samos and the western coast of Turkey. Hundreds of aftershocks have followed.

Rescuers had searched nine out of 17 collapsed buildings as of Saturday morning.

“We are hoping that by today all the buildings that have collapsed will be searched and all people can be rescued,” Salah Hamwi, assistant director of programs for the aid group CARE, told The Weather Channel via Skype from Turkey on Saturday morning.

CARE estimates 100,000 people in Izmir were affected by the quake. The city has a population of about 4.5 million, slightly larger than the population of Los Angeles.

Hamwi said many children that normally would have been at school were at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the survivors pulled from the debris early Saturday was a teenager named Inci Okan, The Associated Press reported. Onlookers cheered as they were pulled out, and others waited outside the building for news of loved ones still trapped inside.

In a different building, a 38-year-old woman and three of her four children, aged 3, 7 and 10-year-old twins, were rescued. Efforts were underway to reach the fourth child.

Multiple search and rescue teams, emergency personnel and volunteers were sent to Izmir, as well as more than 900 tents to be used as temporary shelters.

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