Couple rescued after 202 hours under rubble in southern Türkiye

Muharrem, his wife Hidayet lost 3 children in twin quakes

Izzet Mazi  | 15.02.2023 - Update : 15.02.2023
Couple rescued after 202 hours under rubble in southern Türkiye


A couple was pulled from the rubble in a miracle rescue Tuesday after staying 202 hours under the rubble following the twin quakes in southern Türkiye last week.

Muharrem and his wife Hidayet Polat were rescued in Kahramanmaras province after rescue teams heard their voices from under the rubble.

The couple was transferred to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Muharrem, who is now under medical supervision, told Anadolu that two of their children lost their lives under the rubble and that they tried hard to keep their 6-month-old baby alive.

“We didn’t eat anything under the rubble. I only found some Vaseline and we ate some of it. I did not know if it would cause any harm,” Polat said.

“We had a 6-month-old son Muhammet Alparslan, my wife’s milk was no longer coming so I tried to feed him with my saliva. On the fifth day under rubble, Muhammet couldn’t take it anymore, I checked his pulse, listened to his heart and I realized he died in the morning," he said.

Speaking about the moments when he found water melting from the snow on the seventh day under the rubble, Muharrem said: “In the first earthquake, the floor was closed, but in the second earthquake, it opened up. I only realized this on the 7th day. That was the only place where the air was coming in, there was a lot of dust, and it covered our mouths and faces.”

“On this same day, I called on my wife: ‘Hidayet, look, there is something over there.' I touched it, the brick was damp. I showed her, but she didn’t believe me. I dug incessantly, and snow water came out. Allah showed mercy on us,” he added.

Underlining that they never lost their faith, Polat said the teams could have reached them a day or two days ago, but the rubble above them prevented them from doing so.

*Writing by Anna Cecilia Canatan in Ankara

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