Turkey earthquake: 20-year-old rescued from debris. His SOS? A WhatsApp status
Boran Kubat, a 20-year-old student from Nişantaşı University in earthquake-ravaged Turkey was pulled from beneath the debris after sharing his location through a video status on WhatsApp. Kubat and his family were buried under the rubble of an apartment block in their hometown Malatya. "Whoever sees this WhatsApp status, please come and help. Please everyone come and rescue us now," Kubat said in the video, a TikTok post by Vice World News showed.
Kubat said that his mother's condition was okay and that they were under the rubble in Efruz apartments on the second floor. "I can't hear my uncle very well," the 20-year-old added. Emergency services were able to locate Kubat and he was rescued along with his mother. However, his uncle and grandmother were still under the rubble.
Later, speaking to the Anadolu Agency, Kubat said that he had come back to Malatya to spend his break with his family. Kubat said that his family was caught in the first earthquake after he went to bed at night.
"We were caught asleep in both earthquakes. It suddenly shook, I lowered my head as soon as I opened my eyes. I saw my mother fall next to me," the Nişantaşı University student said adding his phone fell next to him and he immediately grabbed it and called his friends. "I thought that if I share it on social media if all my friends see it, all of them could come," he told the news agency.
Kubat said that he was under the rubble for five-and-a-half to six hours and that his friends used a sledgehammer to hit the exact spot on the debris and find him and his family. He added that his friends found him after four-five hits.
Boran Kubat's ordeal is one of many such stories in Turkey and Syria, where people, trapped under the debris, finally made it out alive. A few days back, a seven-year-old Syrian girl was seen protecting her little brother as the siblings were under the rubble of their collapsed house. They were rescued after 17 hours.
Also in Syria, a baby was born under the remains of a collapsed building and she was. The mother gave birth under the rubble but passed away shortly. A video which has been doing rounds on social media showed a rescuer running with the newborn in his arms.
The baby girl was named Aya, which means miracle in Arabic. Aya's father and four siblings also died due to the earthquake and thousands and thousands of people expressed their willingness to adopt her. Aya is currently hospitalised.
Turkey-Syria quake toll nears 22,000
The combined death toll from Monday's tremors has climbed to 21,719 with 18,342 people killed in Turkey and 3,377 in Syria. Rescuers in both countries are racing against time to find survivors. Experts have already pointed out that the number of deaths will continue to rise sharply.
Meanwhile, the US on Thursday (February 9) said that it would provide $85 million in urgent humanitarian aid to Turkey and Syria, joining the list of countries that earlier pledged help.