Death Toll in Massive Turkey, Greece Earthquake Rises to 39 With 800 More Injured

An aerial view shows rescue workers searching for survivors at a collapsed building after an earthquake in the Aegean port city of Izmir, Turkey October 31, 2020. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Three young children and their mother were rescued alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in western Turkey on Saturday, some 23 hours after a powerful earthquake in the Aegean Sea killed at least 39 people and injured more than 800 others. One of the children died soon after being rescued, while a fourth child was still trapped.

The Friday afternoon quake that struck Turkey’s Aegean coast and north of the Greek island of Samos registered a magnitude that Turkish authorities put at 6.6 while other seismology institutes said it measured 6.9. It toppled buildings in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city, and triggered a small tsunami in the Seferihisar district and on the Greek island. Hundreds of aftershocks followed.

At least 36 people were killed in Izmir, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said. Among them was an elderly woman who drowned in the tsunami. But rescue teams on Saturday made contact with 38-year old Seher Perincek and her four children – ages 3, 7 and 10-year-old twins – inside a fallen building in Izmir and cleared a corridor to bring them out.

One by one, the mother and three of her children were removed from the rubble as rescuers applauded or hugged.

The survivors, including 10-year-old Elzem Perincek, were moved into ambulances on stretchers.

“I’m fine; I was rescued because only one of my feet was pinned. That foot really hurt,” she said.

The health minister as well as rescue worker Ahmet Yavuz told HaberTurk television hours later that one of the children had died after being rescued. They were still trying to reach the other child, Yavuz said.

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SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press