Watch: 6 of the most heroic rescues, dramatic moments from the Turkey-Syria earthquake

As the death toll climbs, rescuers are racing to find survivors before they succumb to the bitterly cold weather in southern Turkey and northern Syria


Anjali Garg

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Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

Published: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 1:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Jun 2023, 3:24 PM

WARNING: Some readers may find the following videos disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

In the wake of a devastating series of earthquakes that shook Turkey and Syria on Monday, claiming the lives of at least 9,500 people – in a death toll experts fear could double – several viral moments have emerged from the aftermath of the disaster: some heart-warming, others downright devastating.

As rescuers locate to find survivors before they succumb to the bitterly cold weather in southern Turkey and northern Syria, here are 5 viral moments that emerged from the search.

1. 'Miracle' baby rescued from rubble

Among visuals of sweeping devastation and calamity across both countries, an unexpected miracle emerged from the rebel-held town of Jindayris, Syria: a newborn baby, still attached to her mother via umbilical cord, was rescued from the rubble of a flattened home. The infant is the sole survivor of her immediate family, all of whom, including her mother, were killed in the massive quake.

Watch the incredible video here:

Members of the baby's extended family were out searching for survivors when they heard a cry while digging. A video, showing a man sprinting from the wreckage of a crumbled four-story building holding the tiny, dust-covered baby, soon went viral on social media. The child has been taken for treatment to the nearby town of Afrin.

2. Girl shields little brother's head from wreckage

Footage of trapped siblings under the rubble of a collapsed building quickly went viral online for a heart-warming act of bravery: a seven-year-old girl protecting her little brother with all her might.

A video circulating online shows the two children lying under a large slab of the wreckage, both covered in dust, as the girl cradles her brother's head and attempts to shield him from harm.

The moment was lauded across the Internet for the precious act of love, and the girl was hailed as a hero for her bravery. A tweet by United Nations representative Mohamad Safa revealed that both siblings had been trapped in the wreckage for 17 hours, and confirmed that the girl has since been safely rescued.

3. Rescued child cries for mother

An emotional video that surfaced online in the wake of the disaster showed a crying, dust-covered child calling for her mother. "Where is my mum?" she sobs in the arms of rescuers as they scoop her from the rubble.

Turkey's southeastern city of Hatay, lying on the border with Syria, was among the cities struck hardest by the major earthquakes.

4. Entire building collapses in seconds

Shocking footage from Turkey's Sanliurfa province shows a building collapsing after the magnitude-7.9 quake, with people sprinting away in terror as the structure crashes to the ground.

The video shows the building crumble to the ground in a matter of seconds, leaving a disintegrated pile of debris and a thick cloud of dust where the structure stood mere moments ago.

5. Trapped child rescued after nearly 4 days

Dramatic footage of a three-year-old girl's rescue from the rubble of destroyed buildings in western Turkey surfaced online after the devastating earthquakes. The miracle survivor had been trapped under debris for a whopping 91 hours before she was safely rescued.

The video shows rescue workers carry the brave child, named Ayda, to safety, with a protective blanket and ventilator placed on the girl.

6. Families work alongside rescuers to find loved ones

Heart-warming scenes from Kahramanmaras, the town at the epicentre of the deadly earthquake, show residents working tirelessly alongside professional rescue teams to locate survivors – with the search initially delayed by extreme weather conditions.

A viral video shows 48-year-old Mustafa Yilmaz being pulled alive from the wreckage of his home as his family members carry him in floods of tears, comforting neighbours as they await news of their own loved ones.


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