Turkey-Syria earthquake: Death toll reaches 42,000, teenager rescued after 248 hours

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The death toll from earthquakes that jolted Turkey and Syria on February 6 rose to 42,000. The United Nations has appealed for $397 million in aid for Syria.

According to Turkish authorities, 36,187 people have died from the earthquakes in the country. The death toll in Syria rose to 5,800, according to UN and the Syrian government.

More than 108,000 people were injured in Turkey in the 7.8 magnitude quake that struck at 4.17am local time and a magnitude 7.5 quake the first temblor likely triggered nine hours later.

A 17-year-old girl was rescued Thursday morning, 248 hours after the original quake, from the debris of a collapsed building in Kahramanmaras, a city located near the epicentre, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

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The girl, Aleyna Olmez, told reporters from her hospital bed that she was well and tried to pass the time by distracting herself. “I had nothing with me,” she said.

Hacer Atlas, a rescuer who was involved in reaching Olmez, told Anadolu, “First we held her hand, then we took her out. She is in a very good condition. She can communicate. I hope we will continue to receive good news about her.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said close to 8,000 rescue and aid workers from 74 countries were still assisting Turkish teams in their efforts. “Around 4,200 personnel from 15 countries have left,” he said.

“I would like to thank each and every one of them,” Cavusoglu said during a joint news conference with his visiting counterpart from Costa Rica.

Al Jazeera reported that more than 100 aid trucks of the United Nations have crossed into northwest Syria since the earthquakes struck. “The UN is continuing to scale up its operation with the plan to utilize all three Turkish-Syrian border crossings, to ensure a constant reach of aid to different districts of north-west Syria,” the publication reported quoting a UN statement.

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