She was trapped for 4 days. As soon as they managed to get her out, she asked to eat. The Turkish president called her “a miracle called Ayda.”
A three year old baby buried under the rubble was rescued alive this Tuesday in western Turkey, four days later of a violent earthquake that left a hundred dead in this region, reported the mayor of the city of Izmir.
“We have witnessed a miracle 91 hours later. Rescuers have recovered Ayda alive,” declared the mayor, Tunc Soyer, on Twitter.
AFP journalists also saw how the girl was evacuated amid applause, in the Bayrakli district, badly affected by the earthquake last Friday.
“In these times of suffering, we have also had this moment of happiness,” added the mayor.
The mayor indicated at first that the girl, Ayda Gezgin, was four years old but the Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, affirmed that she was three years old.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrated on Twitter “a miracle called Ayda”. “Your smiling eyes have given us new hope,” he wrote.
Wrapped in an aluminum survival blanket, the little girl was evacuated on a stretcher to a hospital by teams from the emergency and disaster management agency (AFAD), according to AFP journalists.
Some of the lifeguards recorded the moment with their phones.
In a video shared by the Minister of Health, the girl can be heard for food to the lifeguards. “Kofte y ayran”says Ayda, referring to the Turkish meat dish and a yogurt-based drink, very popular in Turkey.
“The joy we have felt is indescribable,” Ibrahim Topal, one of the rescuers who participated in the rescue, told AFP.
“After having heard his voice, we started digging. My colleague Ahmet saw a hand through a small hole, and when we enlarged it, we saw Ayda’s face, “he added.
Another rescuer, Ahmet Celik, estimates that the little girl survived because she was trapped between two electrical appliances, which caused her not to sink completely under the rubble.
“It was not impacted, it was in this gap between household appliances,” he explained. “When I asked him if he was okay, he asked me ‘ayran’. He loves ‘ayran’,” he added.
On Monday, rescuers managed to get two girls, ages 3 and 14, alive from the rubble of two collapsed buildings in Esrmina province.
The death toll from this earthquake is 105, according to AFAD. The magnitude 7 earthquake also caused 994 injuries, of which 144 are still in hospital.
The shock, with its epicenter in the Aegean Sea, also hit the Greek island of Samos, leaving two dead.