TURKEY EARTHQUAKE: Greek rescuers have saved four lives in Hatay, second team dispatched to disaster zone

Hatay Turkey Greek crew rescuers

Residents living on the border of Turkey and Syria are experiencing a never-ending tragedy after a deadly earthquake struck on Monday. Thousands are dead, while the number of those buried in the ruins of collapsed apartment buildings remains unknown.

The Greek team of rescuers in the province of Hatay, north of the Ancient Greek city of Antioch in Turkey, have become heroes in the severely hit area.

Thanks to their tenacity, their training, their professionalism, their humanity and the self-sacrifice with which they do their work, they have freed - alive - a 50-year-old man, a 9-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl, while another young girl was recovered but dead.

The images of the efforts of the Greek rescuers, their emotion but also their pain over the death of little Fatme, have gone viral all around the world.



Search and rescue operations continue unabated.

Weather conditions make the work even more difficult.

On Wednesday morning, in fact, the Greek rescuers managed to rescue a young man from the Hatay area.

"All the rescued people have come out point by point, our children are digging with their hands" said the Fire Brigade press representative when announcing the fourth rescue by Greek rescuers.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, it was announced that Greece will send a second team of 15 personnel who will travel to Turkey on an Air Force aircraft that will take off from an airport in Northern Greece.

As announced by the Fire Department's press representative, the team of 15 personnel will also have a Belgian dog called Talos with them, which he said "is a valuable companion because the four-legged dog's sense of smell helps to locate the trapped".

Finally, the second Greek team will also include three medical staff.

The window for finding survivors is narrowing as the death toll from the powerful earthquake is now nearing 8,000.

The death toll from the devastating earthquake has now jumped to more than 7,800 people. A breakdown of the figures by AFP news agency says 5,894 people died in Turkey and at least 1,932 are reported dead in Syria.

Meanwhile, in Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul, the frustration is growing. Families desperate to be reunited with loved ones - or join the search for them - are increasingly protesting as flights to the south of the country continue to be delayed and cancelled.

Fights and shouting have broken out, with airport staff under pressure to find solutions when planes have been diverted and cannot land or take off as the runways have iced over and snow continues to fall.

One man grabbed the microphone and shouted at airport staff: “Where is the authority? We need planes to Adana, not Bodrum. Prioritise flights to Adana!” His words were greeted with applause and whistles by other travellers in the waiting area.

Rescue teams are also here, patiently hoping for flights to take them closer to doing their job. One team from a large shipping company, Poliport, all dressed in red emergency uniforms, told us that they are all volunteers, all specially trained and ready to go. But they need to get to Adana and onwards.

At the same time, a piece of wasteland is now home to families who survived the earthquake in Iskenderun, a Turkish port city in the southern Hatay province.

Spread before me is a scene of multiple disasters, with civilians left homeless and now living in the middle of intersecting streets where buildings have collapsed.

Smoke rises from a tower block which has apparently just fallen, others are shattered and precarious.

Across the street, a whole row of buildings is flattened. One woman says four of her friends are missing there and one is confirmed dead.

People are surviving on handouts of bread and tomatoes from a small aid group, while another truck throws out jumpers and trainers to a desperate crowd.

And above the whole scene rises a giant column of black smoke, cutting out the sunlight at times. It’s from a fire that broke out at Iskenderun's port when the first earthquake struck on Monday.

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