Earthquake survival stories continue as teacher, teenager pulled from rubble (VIDEO)


Relatives of victims cry on the ruins after an earthquake in Ercis province of Van, in Turkey, on Oct. 25, 2011.


Ahmad Halabisaz

Earthquake survival stories came in quick succession on Wednesday, with Turkish rescuers pulling an 18-year-old university student and a teacher, 27, out from under rubble after nearly 60 and 70 hours respectively.

Meanwhile, Turkey has said yes to an offer of earthquake aid from Israel, despite poor relation and following a number of refusals from Ankara, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The teenager, Eyup Erdem, was pulled from the wreckage of a multi-story building in hard-hit Ercis, the U.K. Press Association reports.

His father, Salih Erdem, reportedly said Erdem had moved to Ercis a month ago to study mechanics at a university.

Also, Gozde Bahar, an English-language teacher, was freed from rubble and taken to a field hospital. Her heart stopped, but doctors managed to revive her, The Associated Press reports.

Earlier, a two-week old girl was rescued from the rubble after being trapped for two days beside her mother and grandmother, who were also freed.

(GlobalPost reports: Baby rescued from Turkey quake rubble)

The magnitude-7.2 quake struck eastern Turkey on Sunday afternoon, and according to the AP has killed at least 459 people.

Meanwhile, Ankara — which despite reports of inadequate search and rescue resources on the ground since Sunday's earthquake has rejected offers of help from Israel and several other nations — asked Jerusalem Tuesday for aid.

According to Haaretz, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had only Monday rejected a second offer of help by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The government has been criticized for its poor response to the disaster. One victim told Euronews:

"We have no opportunity to warm up in tents. We don’t have enough blankets. Ten people lay under one blanket. They are all living out in the cold weather. We have kids. There is no organization for proper aid distribution."

With snow forecast and thousands of Turks left homeless by the devastation, fights have broken out over aid distribution. One such fight broke out when a truck loaded with tents arrived in Van, one of the worst hit areas, Euronews reports.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman told the Jerusalem Post that the Turks made a request for aid through the embassy in Ankara for Israel to send mobile homes to the devastated Van province. And:

The Defense Ministry chartered a civilian Boeing 747 on Tuesday night to take seven mobile homes to Turkey on Wednesday. According to a Defense Ministry official, this will be the first of a number of planes that will be sent carrying aid.