Heartbreaking news from Southern Turkey and Northern Syria as two of the strongest earthquakes in the region in more than 100 years, of 7.8 and 7.7 magnitude, occurred on Monday 6 February 2023 in South Eastern Turkey.
Our thoughts are with all those affected and particularly our fellow search and rescue family akutdernegi and get_arama_kurtarma.
SARAID can confirm that a team has deployed as part of the International response to the earthquake that struck yesterday. The team aim to reach Adana on 8th February 2023. They are ready to help in any way we can!
“Last night at 5pm, we arrived at Kahramanmaraş. The many rubble piles blocking the roads made it very difficult to get through the city. We eventually found our friends of @Fire who had been working for around 24 hours on a collapsed building where a mother and child were trapped and were starting to tire. They had made good progress, but had hit a wall, literally, as a radiator was blocking their way. They had tried to cut through it, but it was taking too long.
As the temperature dropped and time was running out, we knew we had to act fast. An excavator was used to prop up the collapsed slabs above the location where the mother and child were trapped, and another was used to dig a trench down in front of the building. With the help of the local community who had built the structure originally, we hoped to find a basement level. After digging a trench, our structural engineers assessed the structure and advised on the safest way in. Locals people then went into the hole and started digging the soil by hand with shovels and pickaxes.
Finally, after excavating about 2.5 m into the soil, we found a concrete wall. Our USAR Technician Alex Kerr with @Fire breached through the wall and inserted our First Look 360 camera which allows us to see inside the structure. To our amazement, we saw a hand on the camera and an interpreter was able to speak to the mother, who was alive and in good health. We posted water bottles into the void using the hole we had created. @Fire cleared the breach hole to make it larger. Once through the breach, it was difficult to access the victim, as there was a lot of loose debris, and she was on a potentially unstable slab.
SARAID Medic Matty Campbell went in and posted a space blanket and cleared the debris. Suddenly, the child appeared at the void and Matty helped her down the debris and out the tunnel. The mother then crawled down with Matty’s assistance, and there were very emotional scenes from the locals, with cheers and tears all around. It was a remarkable and touching moment for everyone involved, and a testament to the bravery and skill of the SARAID and @Fire teams.”
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