Rescue workers pull 70-year-old man from Turkey earthquake rubble
A 70-year-old man has been rescued from a collapsed building in western Turkey some 34 hours after a strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea struck Turkey and Greece, killing at least 75 people and injuring almost 1,000.
Ahmet Citim was pulled out from the rubble and was taken to hospital, with health minister Fahrettin Koca tweeting that the man said: “I never lost my hope.”
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the death toll in Izmir to 58. Two teenagers were killed on Friday on Samos and at least 19 others were injured.
There was some debate over the magnitude of the earthquake. The US Geological Survey rated it 7.0, while the Istanbul’s Kandilli Institute put it at 6.9 and Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said it measured 6.6.
The quake triggered a small tsunami in the Seferihisar district of Izmir, drowning one elderly woman, and on Samos. The tremors were felt across western Turkey, including in Istanbul, as well as in the Greek capital of Athens. Hundreds of aftershocks followed.
Search-and-rescue teams continued work in nine buildings in Izmir as day broke on the third day.
Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, two powerful quakes killed some 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey, while earthquakes are also frequent in Greece.
The quake occurred as Turkey was already struggling with an economic downturn and the coronavirus pandemic.