Turkey earthquake: Three rescued after being trapped under rubble for 11 days
Three more survivors of the Turkish earthquake have been pulled from the rubble including a father reunited with his wife and baby daughter.
Hakan Yasinoglu, in his 40s, was rescued in the southern province of Hatay, 278 hours after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the dead of night on 6 February, the Istanbul fire brigade said.
Mustafa Avci, 34, and Osman Halebiye, 14, were rescued in the historic city of Antakya. "I thought my family died," Mr Avci told reporters.
"My wife, my child, I thought they were all dead. God bless everyone. I’m so happy."
Exhausted, he was later reunited with his wife, Bilge, and daughter Almile at a hospital in Mersin.
Experts say most rescues occur in the 24 hours after an earthquake. However, a teenage girl was saved 15 days after Haiti’s massive 2010 quake, giving hope that more people may yet be found.
The miracle rescues came as the UN warned there will be more casualties on top of the 42,000 now confirmed dead.
Muhannad Hadi, UN’ regional humanitarian co-ordinator for Syria warned the death toll from last week’s 7.8-magnitude quake is likely to keep rising.
He spoke as it emerged terror groups within Syria were preventing rescue workers getting to some of the hardest-hit areas. Mr Hadi defended the UN’s response to the disaster, which many in Syria have called slow and inadequate. He said: "We’re hoping that this number will not increase by much. But from what we are seeing - the devastation of this earthquake is really not giving us a lot of hope that this will be the end of it."
Mr Hadi said that even before it, some 4.1 million people needed aid in north-west Syria, many of whom were already displaced.
Locals struggling with the aftermath of the disaster have criticised delays in getting UN aid to the area. Roads leading to the one border crossing from Turkey to Syria were damaged and the first UN rescue convoy came three days after the earthquake.
Mr Hadi said. "We asked everybody to put the interests of the people first.
"We asked everybody to de-politicise the humanitarian situation and focus on supporting us to reach the people."
Mr Hadi said 120 aid trucks had crossed into north-western Syria from Turkey as of yesterday. No aid convoys had crossed from Damascus-controlled territory into the rebel-held areas.