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Rescue Crews in Turkey Find Survivors on 8th Day After Earthquake

People who lost their houses in the devastating earthquake, lineup to receive food at a makeshift camp, in Iskenderun city, southern Turkey, Feb. 14, 2023.

Rescuers in Turkey pulled several more people alive from the rubble Tuesday, nearly 200 hours after a series of powerful earthquakes struck the region.

The latest rescues included one from a crumbled building in Adiyaman province and two others from a destroyed building in central Kahramanmaras, near the epicenter.

Turkish television broadcast scenes of the rescues, but experts warned the window is closing for finding more people alive in what remains of collapsed buildings after so much time.

Turkish residents in Samandag in Hatay province, complained the government has not done enough in the search for survivors.

One earthquake survivor told VOA’s Turkish service that everything is being done through volunteers and community efforts, not by the government.

“We rescued a lady and her baby from under the rubble. Alive. With our own efforts. With our own sledgehammers, with our hammers. I had many friends with me. This is not acceptable,” the survivor said.

Another said, “Volunteers are working here, day and night, nonstop. They don’t even eat. They don’t even come down to drink water. AFAD (Turkey’s Disaster Management Authority) came to save us supposedly. The team came here to work on detecting. They just came and left. They said, ‘There was nothing here,’ and turned back and left.”

Turkish authorities have reported at least 31,643 deaths from the massive earthquake centered in the Gaziantep region.

Across the border in northern Syria, the United Nations humanitarian office said Monday the death toll there had topped 4,300, with another 7,600 injured.

The VOA Turkish Service contributed to this report, which includes some information from The Associated Press and Reuters.