- (Photo: REUTERS / Umit Bektas)
In a miraculous recovery, a teenager was rescued from the rubble of a building in eastern Turkey. The young man had been buried alive for more than 100 hours after surviving a deadly earthquake.
Turkey’s Anatolia news agency identified the 18-year-old survivor as Imdat Padak. The agency reported that Padak was rescued by an Azerbaijani crew, then transported to a nearby city where he was treated for dehydration, but was otherwise in a stable condition.
The crew pulled Padak out after searching for more than two days in Ercis; one of the cities most devastated by the earthquake. Video footage showed the surrounding crowd erupting in cheers, shouting, “God is great!”
The rescue was at least one piece of good news in a community besieged by tragedy since a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit four days ago.
The death toll from the quake is at least 535, although that number is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue. Officials said more than 2,300 people were injured and 186 have been rescued from the rubble.
Padak’s rescue comes a day after a university student and two teachers were rescued, but there has been little hope of more survivors as workers continue to search through debris. In fact, news of Padak’s rescue came even as reports surfaced that rescue efforts in the neighboring areas were called off.
Thousands have been left homeless by the earthquake, and rain and snow are forecast in the days ahead. Turkish authorities provided tents to survivors, though the numbers have not been sufficient to accommodate all those left homeless.
According to The Associated Press, Sermin Yildirim-who is eight months pregnant and was sharing a tent with distant relatives and her own family-dealt with harsh living conditions because she was afraid to return to her apartment.
“It’s getting colder, my kids are coughing,” Yildirim said according to AP. “We were not able to get a tent. We are waiting to get our own.”