Shedding Light On The Stories Of Hope And Heroism From The Turkey-Syria Earthquake

BBC reports that a 6.4 magnitude tremor occurred near the city of Antakya, Turkey which is close to the Syrian border. According to Turkey’s disaster and emergency ministry, the 6.4 earthquake struck at a depth of 10 km at 20:04 local time. Then three minutes later, a 5.8 aftershock occurred along with 31 less powerful aftershocks.

This scenario is repeating itself as back in Feb. 6, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck both Turkey and Syria, resulting in destruction and casualties of about 36000 people. It was regarded as one of the most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the region in the past century as it caused tremors that were felt all the way to Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan and left the world in shock.

Despite the devastation and the hurt of these two earthquakes, a glimmer of hope could be felt with stories of miracle babies rescued and the various efforts from people and nations to come to the rescue of the people of Syria and Turkey in the first earthquake.

Turkey’s Antakya

Murad Oonay, who, on Monday morning when the earthquake initially struck, hurried barefoot to his sister’s residence in Antakya, Turkey. His sister’s family was trapped inside the apartment building after the first three floors collapsed, Murad with the help of his 18-year-old son started digging.

They then managed to remove the building’s fallen third floor, where they discovered four still alive. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Hatija, Murad’s 15-year-old niece, was heard speaking from beneath the rubble. She requested water but she was not yet visible to the rescue crew. What makes this story extraordinary is how volunteers had to make use of whatever tools they could find at the time since proper equipment had not yet arrived in Antakya, 36 hours after the earthquake, at around 9 p.m., volunteers were able to free Hatija and brought her to a hospital.

White Helmets rescue Syrian family

In Syria’s village of Bisnia, west of Idlib, White Helmets rescue workers saved an entire family from the rubble of their collapsed home. Dozens of civilians cheered at the scene to greet the workers’ successful efforts.

Miracle baby born under the rubble 

Under the rubble of a collapsed building in northern Syria, a miracle baby was born. He was saved by a group of men working to rescue civilians stuck inside the ruins. According to The New Arab, they took the new-born from under the rubble of a building in the town of Jindires in Aleppo province with the mother having passed away leaving the miracle baby the “only survivor” in their family.

A family of five trapped for 129 hours 

After 129 hours, five members of the same family were saved from the rubble of their home in Turkey’s Nurdagi, Gaziantep province. The father then insisted his children were rescued first before he was brought out last by search teams.

The rescuers first recovered the mother and daughter who had been trapped beneath the wreckage of their home. They later reached the father, who insisted that his son be saved first, they were then taken to an ambulance while rescuers cheered and chanted “God is Great.”

Syrian veterinarians save pets who lost their humans

An animal refuge in Syria saved a dog with a severe leg wound and a cat that had spent three days confined inside a store. In addition to treating dozens of animals in the area, veterinarians were able to transport 35 animals to Ernesto’s Sanctuary in Idlib City after traveling 30 miles to save animals on earthquake-affected farms.

Volunteers rushing to save trapped animals in turkey

After being buried under the building’s debris in Turkey’s Adana, a cat whose black and white fur was covered in grey dust had been recovered by aid workers in the area. But it wasn’t just cats and dogs; some birds were also unable to flee the catastrophe. On Thursday, rescuers in Hatay, Turkey, saved a parrot from beneath the rubble.

Via metro

Arab Nations to provide relief

To this day, Saudi Arabia has sent a total of seven humanitarian aid flights that took off to earthquake-hit areas in Turkey and Syria. Some of the flights went straight to Adana airport in Turkey. That seventh flight in particular carried medical aid and equipment worth more than SR36 million and carried 108 tons of relief supplies which included food, tents, and advanced medical aid.

Apart from relief flights, Saudi Arabia has also set up a program titled “Sahem” to provide aid for the tens of thousands of people who are currently left displaced following the earthquake.

In the UAE, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center and Expo City Dubai’s exhibition center, thousands of volunteers gathered to pack boxes of vital supplies such as dry food and blankets for survivors of the disaster. The UAE also launched an initiative called “Bridges of Giving” organized by the Emirates Red Crescent.

Qatar also played a big role by donating World Cup Cabins to Turkey and Syria for earthquake relief. The 10,000 cabins and caravans could now be used to house people who lost their homes. The country also sent a rescue team, a field hospital, relief aid, tents, and winter supplies.

As for Egypt, the country sent five military planes of urgent medical aid to Syria and Turkey under the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. As for expats who represent a huge number in both countries, Egypt’s embassies in Damascus and Ankara have both launched emergency hotlines to allow them to call for help.

More searches are being done in the hopes of saving more lives, and soon, we hope to see some similar stories of saving lives in this new earthquake.

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