Turkey: Little girl rescued 91 hours after quake

3-year-old Ayda Gezgin taken to hospital after being extricated from debris of Izmir earthquake in Aegean region

Merve Aydogan   | 03.11.2020
Turkey: Little girl rescued 91 hours after quake


A three-year-old girl was pulled out of the rubble alive on Tuesday days after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit Turkey's Aegean region.

Ayda Gezgin was rescued in the Bayrakli district of Izmir province 91 hours after the quake.

Ayda, the 107th survivor rescued, was taken to hospital for treatment.

The young survivor was seen to be conscious and looking at her surroundings when being transported to Ege University Hospital.

3-year-old Ayda Gezgin rescued 91 hours after quake in western Turkey

IZMIR, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 03: A drone photo shows 4-year-old Ayda Gezgin, being pulled from the debris of Riza Bey apartment, 91 hours after a magnitude 6.6 quake shook Turkey's Aegean Sea coast, in Izmir, Turkey on November 03, 2020. ( Orhan Fatih Doğan - Anadolu Agency ) 

Speaking at a news conference, Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said by all indications, Ayda’s health is stable and good.

Echoing Kurum, Deputy Health Minister Muhammet Guven told reporters that Ayda remains conscious, healthy and is able to respond. He also confirmed that she displays no problems in her vital signs.

He added that search and rescue efforts in four buildings continue while efforts in 13 buildings have been completed in the city, which is Turkey’s third largest.

On Twitter, Mehmet Gulluoglu, the head of Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), expressed happiness at the little girl's rescue.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed happiness at Ayda's rescue and shared photos of her from the hospital.

"Ayda, this was a miracle ... Thanks be to Allah for giving us new hopes with your smiling eyes after 91 hours. Get well soon, beautiful child," he said on Twitter.

Quake separates mother, daughter

However, Fidan Gezgin, mother of Ayda, whom she was calling for while being pulled from debris, died in the earthquake.

Speaking to reporters following Ayda's rescue, rescue team member Nusret Aksoy said he had spotted the young girl waving from the rubble.

"I saw her through the debris. She waved at me. I initially heard her scream, then called my colleagues over. I asked her name and she said, 'My name is Ayda, I'm fine'," he said.

"I then asked her to wave her hand if she was all right, and she did."

Semih Tufan, a medic from the National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE), told reporters that when she saw the rescue teams, the dehydrated little girl asked for water and ayran, a traditional yogurt drink.

"She asked for this two or three times," he added.

"She was scared inside the debris but did not let our senior AFAD member go. Never cried."

Meanwhile, Helim Sari, 62, who was pulled out of debris 26 hours after the earthquake, lost his life in hospital.

Turkey is among the world's most seismically active zones, and has suffered devastating earthquakes in the past, including the 7.4 Marmara quake of 1999.

The death toll from last week’s powerful magnitude earthquake in Turkey’s Aegean region now stands at 110, according to latest update by Erdogan.

AFAD said 144 victims are still in treatment, while over 880 more have been discharged from hospitals.

A total of 1,475 aftershocks -- 44 of them with a magnitude over 4 -- have been recorded since Friday’s quake rattled Izmir.

Face of hope: Three-year-old Ayda saved 91 hours after quake

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