Search and rescue teams in the Aegean Turkish province of İzmir, hit by a powerful earthquake on Friday, pulled out two girls, aged 3 and 14, from the rubble of two collapsed buildings on the third of the quake on Sunday, according to Turkish media reports.
The three-year-old girl, named Elif Perinçek, was taken out of a collapsed building on the 65th hour of the quake while 14-year-old İdil Şirin was saved on the 58th hour of the quake.
Television footage showed the girls being pulled from the rubble and carried by rescue workers on stretchers to ambulances amid the applause of the people waiting anxiously around the collapsed buildings. Both girls suffered some injuries and were being treated at hospital.
Bahadır Kuş, head of the rescue team that took out İdil from under rubble, told Turkish media outlets that İdil was lying side by side her sister, İpek.
“[When she was out] İdil said she had a sister and she died. … She watched her while her sister died,” Kuş said.
Elif’s two sisters and brother were rescued along with their mother on Saturday, but one of the children subsequently died.
Friday’s quake was centered in the Aegean northeast of the Greek island of Samos. There was some debate over the magnitude of the earthquake. While the US Geological Survey rated it 7.0, 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 has claimed the lives of 79 people while 962 people were injured, according to a statement from the AFAD on Sunday, which noted that 743 of the injured have already been discharged from hospital.
Search and rescue work continue at eight collapsed buildings in İzmir.
Turkey is crisscrossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, two powerful quakes killed some 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey.