Middle East/North Africa

Rescue workers pull 70-year-old from earthquake rubble in Turkey

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Turkish rescue workers on Sunday saved a 70-year-old man after a building collapse caused by an earthquake.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that the survivor, Ahmet Citim, told him he “never lost hope.”

The earthquake in the Aegean Sea has killed at least 71 people in Greece and Turkey so far, The Associated Press reported. The figure includes 69 people in Turkey’s Izmir province and two teenagers on the Greek island of Samos, near the site of the quake. At least 949 people were injured in Turkey, according to the nation’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency.

Numerous buildings in Turkey are particularly vulnerable to the quake due to a combination of age and cost-cutting construction techniques, according to the AP. Quake damage has led the country to tighten regulations and institute various urban renewal projects.

Several of the Sunday rescues involved two Izmir apartment buildings where “decay” has been reported in years past and local newspapers reported that one building, built in 1993, was judged to be at risk for damage from quakes due to the poor-quality materials used in its construction.

“In the first tremor nothing happened. During the second tremor, the seventh floor, sixth and fourth floors fell on top of another like a sandwich,” said Suzan Dere, a 73-year-old survivor of one of the collapses. “The building collapsed in a cloud of dust onto the street with a very loud noise. It all happened within one minute.”


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