“Dad is here, don’t be scared. … Talk to your dad, talk,” the rescuers gently told the infant while she was still half buried.
Residents of a northwest Syrian town found a crying baby girl whose mother appeared to have given birth to her while buried underneath the remains of a five-story apartment building shattered by this week’s devastating earthquake, relatives and a doctor said on February 7, per USA Today.
The mother died before the rescue workers could reach her but the baby was saved by them, as per CBS.
Newborn saved after mother gives birth and dies trapped under earthquake rubble in Syria, activists say https://t.co/31QWXS5Ykv via @CBSNews— Tom Flowers (@TomFlowers) February 7, 2023
She was found buried under the debris with her umbilical cord still connected to her mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, who was found dead, as per reports. The baby is reportedly the only member of her family to survive the building collapse on February 6 in the small town of Jinderis, next to the Turkish border, a relative, Ramadan Sleiman, told The Associated Press.
The moment a child was born 👶 His mother was under the rubble of the earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, and she died after he was born , The earthquake.— Talha Ch (@Talhaofficial01) February 6, 2023
May God give patience to the people of #Syria and #Turkey and have mercy on the victims of the #earthquake#الهزه_الارضيه #زلزال pic.twitter.com/eBFr6IoWaW
The rescuers found the baby on February 6 afternoon, more than 10 hours after the earthquake struck. A female neighbor cut the cord, and she and others rushed to take the baby to a children’s hospital in the nearby town of Afrin, where she has been kept in an incubator, said Dr. Hani Maarouf, the physician treating the baby, per USA Today.
Oh my heart ❤️— Vanessa H. Larson (@vanessahlarson) February 7, 2023
The baby’s body temperature had fallen to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and she even had bruises, including a large one on her back, but now she is in stable condition, he said. Maarouf added he believed the baby had been born about three hours before being found, given the amount her temperature had dropped.
In another corner of Syria, a Syrian volunteer organization shared a video on Twitter showing a young child being pulled alive from the earthquake rubble in the village of Qatma. In the video, a rescuer is seen digging through concrete and twisted metal before they find a little girl, named Nour. The girl, who was still half buried, looks disoriented as the rescuers tell her, “Dad is here, don’t be scared. … Talk to your dad, talk.”
Ahmed, a displaced child, was rescued from the ruins of his home in the village of Qatma, north of #Aleppo, #Syria. The family's house was destroyed by today's devastating #earthquake. pic.twitter.com/Ec4pommcLc— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) February 6, 2023
Deaths in both Syria and Turkey from the massive 7.8 earthquake and multiple aftershocks crossed 5,000 by February 7 and the World Health Organization said it was a "race against time" to rescue people trapped in the rubble in the freezing conditions.
Deaths from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria passed 5,000.— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 7, 2023
Up to 23 million people could be impacted, including millions of displaced Syrians and refugees already reliant on humanitarian aid.
The WHO says deaths may pass 20,000 amid freezing conditions and building collapses. pic.twitter.com/ldlHRhT1NM
Syria already has a refugee crisis after 12 years of brutal civil war and is facing extreme difficulty. The area worst affected by the earthquake is split between government-held territory, under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and opposition-held territory, which borders Turkey and is surrounded by government forces.
As per World Health Organization, Turkey had a strong capacity to respond to the devastation of the February 6 earthquake, but the needs in Syria are more extreme. "All over Syria, the needs are highest after nearly 12 years of protracted, complex crisis, while humanitarian funding continues to decline," Adelheid Marschang, WHO Senior Emergency Officer, said.
This is a developing story, and we’ll update you as we learn more. Information about the earthquake is swiftly changing, and WomenWorking is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency of developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Mehmet Kacmaz