A newborn was rescued from the rubble of her family’s home in Syria after one of the deadliest earthquakes in a century, NPR and other outlets reported Tuesday.
“We heard a voice while we were digging,” a cousin, Khalil al-Suwadi, told Agence France-Presse. “We cleared the dust and found the baby with the umbilical cord, so we cut it and my cousin took her to hospital,” NBC News reported.
The baby and her deceased mother were reportedly still attached via the umbilical cord when rescuers freed the infant from the rubble.
The baby’s family, including her mother, father, four siblings, and aunt, did not survive, the cousin told AFP.
The family home in Jinderis, Syria, near the Turkish border, collapsed after the earthquake struck early Monday morning.
Another child whose name is Nour was rescued from beneath rubble and twisted rebar in the same small town in Northwest Syria, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Nour, who appears to be a toddler, had been trapped the whole day. In the AP’s video, a silent-but-alert Nour is carefully extracted from the collapsed building by a rescuer who, at that point in the video, was digging her out by hand.
Tens of thousands of people were injured by the quake, and more than 7,000 people have died, CNN reported Tuesday.
The powerful earthquake hit the region Monday around 4 a.m. local time. The 7.8-magnitude quake struck near Nurdağı in Turkey, along the border between Turkey and Syria, according to the United States Geological Survey. USGS says a 6.7-magnitude aftershock rocked the region just 11 minutes later.
According to USGS’ observations, the initial earthquake and aftershocks occurred within the East Anatolian fault system. The area is a tectonically active junction where three tectonic plates touch and interact.
As of Monday evening at 10:30 pm local time, around 30 aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 and larger had been recorded in the area.
Only three earthquakes of magnitude six or larger were registered in the region in the past half-century, USGS says.
“It’s difficult to watch this tragedy unfold, especially since we’ve known for a long time that the buildings in the region were not designed to withstand earthquakes,” said USGS scientist David Wald in a statement.
“An earthquake this size has the potential to be damaging anywhere in the world, but many structures in this region are particularly vulnerable,” Wald added.
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