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As Quake Death Toll Passes 21,000, Miracle Rescues Still Taking Place


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The death toll from that catastrophic earthquake along the border of Turkey and Syria is still climbing. Now it's over 21,000 and search teams are still looking for survivors.

Although time is running out, emergency crews are still making dramatic rescues, pulling victims from the rubble. Even days after the massive quake that hit the border region between the two countries this past Monday, they are still finding survivors.

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Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell is on the ground in the earthquake zone.
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In the city of Gaziantep, near the epicenter of the quake in Turkey, rescuers pulled a 17-year-old from the basement where had been trapped since Monday. Adnan Muhammed Korkut beamed a smile at the crowd of friends and relatives who chanted "Adnan" and cried tears of joy as he was carried out.

"Thank God you arrived," he said, embracing his mother and others who leaned down to kiss and hug him.

It's an example that there's still hope for finding people alive. The vice president of Turkey says more than 120 people have recently been pulled from the devastation of buildings.

Every example lifts the spirits of those in the hardest-hit parts of Turkey and Syria. In one case, rescue workers pulled a mother and her six-year-old daughter from the debris, using heavy equipment. They worked for almost 20 hours to reach them inside a collapsed home.

Crews are searching around the clock, hoping to hear signs of life. Workers also rescued a father three days after the quake, two hours after crews pulled out his daughter from the same area.
There's also positive news on the newborn baby born underneath the rubble. She's been named Aya which is Arabic for "miracle," and she's getting healthier at the hospital each day. Tragically, her mother did not survive.

Although many have been found alive, rescue stories are becoming fewer as the days go on.

CLICK HERE to Help Operation Blessing Provide Relief Effort in Turkey

Temperatures remain below freezing across the large region, and many people have no place to shelter. The government has distributed millions of hot meals, but the need remains massive and ongoing.

Tents have been set up to give survivors left with nothing, a place to stay. Turkey's Foreign Ministry says nearly 100 countries have offered to help, and nearly 7,000 foreign rescue personnel have joined local rescuers already on the ground.

The aid is critical as hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.
CBN Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell is now on the scene in Adana, Turkey, reporting that "the devastation is hard to describe, and the urgency is very great, not only for those trapped in the rubble but for the survivors after this massive earthquake."

CBN's Operation Blessing is also on the ground, distributing supplies to survivors.

Operation Blessing's Diego Traverso explained, "We started delivering some food and also some solar lamps, and plus, some packs with hygiene and some basic items for the families. Also for the kids, we give some snacks and some juices and some Nutri-bars, that is very needed in this time."

Traverso is grateful for those who are making it possible for Operation Blessing to provide this aid.

"Thank you so much for your support, for your prayers, for your partnership...Operation Blessing is committed to be here and support the victims, thanks to your support." 

CLICK HERE to Help Operation Blessing Provide Relief Effort in Turkey

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About The Author


Mark Martin currently serves as a reporter and anchor at CBN News, reporting on all kinds of issues, from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East. He traveled to Bahrain and covered stories on the aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mark also anchors CBN News Midday on the CBN Newschannel and fills in on the anchor desk for CBN News' Newswatch and The 700 Club. Prior to CBN News, Mark worked at KFSM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There he served as a weekend morning producer, before being promoted to general