3-year-old Ayda Gezgin taken to hospital after being puled out of debris 91 hours after earthquake in Izmir, Aegean region
A 3-year-old girl was pulled out of the rubble alive on Tuesday days after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit Turkey’s Aegean region.
Ayda Gezgin was rescued in the Bayrakli district of the Aegean Izmir province 91 hours after the quake.
Ayda, the 107th survivor to be rescued, was taken to hospital for treatment.
The young survivor was seen to be conscious and looking at her surroundings when being transported to Ege University Hospital.
Speaking at a news conference, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said by all indications, Ayda’s health is stable and good, a view echoed by the deputy health minister.
He added that search and rescue efforts in four buildings continue while efforts in 13 buildings have been completed in the city, which is Turkey’s third largest.
On Twitter, Mehmet Gulluoglu, the head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), expressed happiness at the little girl’s rescue.
‘She never cried’
Speaking to reporters following Ayda’s rescue, rescue team member Nusret Aksoy said he had spotted the young girl waving from the rubble.
“I saw her from the debris. She waved at me. I initially heard her scream, then called my colleagues over. I asked her name and she said, ‘My name is Ayda, I’m fine’,” he said.
“I then asked her to wave her hand if she was all right, and she did.”
Semih Tufan, a medic from the National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE), told reporters that when she saw the rescue teams, the dehydrated little girl asked for water and ayran, a traditional yogurt drink.
“She asked for this two or three times,” he added.
“She was scared inside the debris but didn’t let go of our senior AFAD member. Never cried.”
Turkey is among the world’s most seismically active zones, and has suffered devastating earthquakes in the past, including the 1999 Marmara quake.
The death toll from last week’s 6.6-magnitude earthquake in Turkey’s Aegean region now stands at 105, authorities said on Tuesday.
According to the AFAD, 144 victims are still under treatment, while over 880 more have been discharged from hospitals.
A total of 1,475 aftershocks – 44 of them with a magnitude higher than 4.0 – have been recorded since last Friday’s quake rattled Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city, home to more than 4.3 million, the agency said.