Man rescued from rubble as Turkey quake death toll hits 60

IZMIR (REUTERS) – A 70-year-old man was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building in the Turkish city of Izmir on Sunday (Nov 1), after being buried for 33 hours following a powerful earthquake struck Turkey’s Aegean coast and Greek islands.

Turkish authorities reported more deaths on Sunday, bringing the toll to 58, all in Izmir, while two teenagers died on the Greek island of Samos.

The man, identified as Mr Ahmet Citim, was rescued from one of 20 residential buildings destroyed in Izmir’s Bayrakli district, which was in the process of urban transformation due to lack of earthquake resistance.

“So far, we know that 58 of our citizens were killed in the quake, and 896 people were injured,” the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Sunday.

Mr Erdogan added that the government was “determined to heal the wounds of our brothers and sisters in Izmir before the cold and rains begin.” Some 702 victims have so far been discharged from hospitals, while eight remain in intensive care units, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, two powerful quakes killed 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey.

The Friday earthquake, which the Istanbul-based Kandilli Institute said had a magnitude of 6.9, was centered in the Aegean Sea, northeast of Samos.

Sixteen-year-old Inci Okan was trapped under the rubble of the same eight-storey building as the elderly man before being rescued 17 hours after the strong quake, along with her dog Fistik.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE) member Edanur Dogan visited Okan at hospital.

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Emergency worker Dogan had held the girl’s hand while rescue teams removed the debris above her.

“I am very happy. Thankfully my father was not at home. My father couldn’t fit there. He would hurt his head. I am tiny. I am short so I squeezed in and that’s how I was rescued. We stayed home with my dog. Both of us are well,” Ms Okan said from her hospital bed.

Ms Okan promised to play the violin for Ms Dogan after being discharged from hospital.

“I will play the violin for you, I promise.”

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