Using thermal cameras, rescue teams continue to locate signs of life and bring people to safety. The death toll is approaching 25,000, with over 24,500 people killed, 80,000 injured, and millions left homeless.
Miracles Amid Devastation: Rescues Continue Despite Diminishing Hopes
On Saturday, rescue teams pulled a family of five to safety after they survived in their collapsed home for five days. They also rescued 12 other people, including a 3-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl, and a 16-year-old boy. Despite experts saying trapped people can live for a week or more, the odds of finding more survivors are quickly waning, and rescuers are shifting to thermal cameras to identify life amid the rubble.
Tragedy and Heartbreak Amid Rescues
Unfortunately, not all rescues ended well. A 13-year-old girl was rescued from the debris of a collapsed building in Hatay province but died before medical teams could amputate a limb and free her from the rubble. The rescues bring shimmers of joy amid the overwhelming devastation caused by Monday's 7.8-magnitude quake and another quake of nearly equal power that caused more destruction hours later.
Treatment for the Injured: India's Medical Assistance Team Arrives
As aid continued to arrive, a 99-member group from the Indian Army's medical assistance team began treating the injured in a temporary field hospital in the southern city of Iskenderun. One man, Sukru Canbulat, was rescued from his collapsed apartment building in Antakya but received basic first aid and was released without proper treatment for his injuries.
Graveyard Under Construction Amid Tragedy
A large makeshift graveyard is under construction on the outskirts of Antakya, with backhoes and bulldozers digging pits and trucks and ambulances loaded with black body bags arriving continuously. Soldiers are directing traffic and warning motorists not to take photographs. A worker with Turkey's Ministry of Religious Affairs reported that around 2,000 bodies had been buried by midday on Saturday, with most people being brought in dead.
Freezing Temperatures and Lack of Shelter
Temperatures remain below freezing across the large region, and many people have no shelter. The Turkish government has distributed millions of hot meals, tents, and blankets but still needs help to reach many needy people. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that universities will switch to long-distance education until the summer to free up state-run dormitories for survivors left homeless.