İzmir, child rescued after the earthquake

Death toll from earthquake in Turkey rises to 91

Amid the destruction and pain in İzmir, miracles arise: Elif, a 3-year-old girl, was rescued on Monday after spending 65 hours trapped.

There are already 91 dead and around a thousand injured by the earthquake that struck İzmir on Friday, Turkey’s third largest city, according to the latest data provided this Monday by the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD).

According to AFAD reports, so far the number of injured adds up to 994 people, of which 893 have been discharged from hospital and another 155 are still under treatment. In addition, since the main earthquake – which reached 6.6 degrees on the Richter scale – there have been 1,286 aftershocks, 43 of them with an intensity greater than 4 degrees.

During a press conference organised from the city, the Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Murat Kurum explained that 58 buildings have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, and asked citizens who need it to stay in the accommodation provided by the authorities, with capacity for 7,600 people, adding that the construction of a container city with capacity for another 1,000 has begun.

Miracles among the ruins

In the midst of the disaster, continue to arrive images that encourage hope to find more survivors, such as the rescue of cats and other pets that have survived several days after the collapse of buildings, or children; this is the case of Elif, a 3-year-old girl who was rescued this Monday 65 hours after her house collapsed in the Bayraklı district, and who has become the 106th survivor rescued alive after the earthquake.

It so happens that Elif’s mother, Seher Dereli Perinçek, her two 10-year-old twin sisters Ezel and Elzem, and her 7-year-old brother Umut, were rescued from the ruins on Saturday after spending 23 hours under the rubble, although unfortunately Umut lost his life. However, the rest of her family continues to receive treatment as does Elif, who greeted the cameras from the hospital and whose image has become the symbol of hope for many people who have not yet found their loved ones.

Hours earlier, another 14-year-old girl, İdil Şirin, was also rescued this Monday amid applause from the ruins of a building after being trapped for 58 hours with her 8-year-old sister, İpek, with whom she was able to speak for several hours. but that ultimately did not survive because of her injuries.

The buildings were not resistant to earthquakes

On the other hand, two reports prepared at the request of residents in the area by the Bayraklı district council – one of the most affected by the earthquake – on two of the buildings that collapsed after the earthquake in İzmir, have revealed that the buildings were not built to be earthquake resistant, according to information published in the Turkish press.

For example, the report notes that the Rızabey apartment block – one of the ones that collapsed – was built in 1993 according to the anti-earthquake regulations of 1975, much more lax than the one that came into force after the Great Marmara Earthquake of 1999. Another of the apartment blocks that collapsed, the Doğanlar building, was also built in 1990 according to the 1975 regulations.

It has also been known that a report prepared on February 27, 2018 already warned about the dangerous situation of the Doğanlar block, in which technicians detected deformations, overloads, cracks and ruptures, especially in the seismic expansion joints.

“There are protrusions on the ground floor, visible deviations, separations and deformations on the balconies,” the report warned, also indicating the presence of leaks from the land on which the 7-storey building was built, which was originally a wetland.

On the other hand, and as the death toll from the earthquake in Turkey continues to rise, the Turkish press reports that many İzmir residents affected by the earthquake are encountering serious problems to rent a home due to rising prices, which have increased by up to 500 liras in a single day since the earthquake struck on November 30, especially among buildings less than 10 years old.