Turkey earthquake: 3-year-old pulled alive from under rubble after 91 hours – NBC News

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Cries of joy greeted a small girl as she was pulled out of the rubble alive in Turkey’s Izmir on Tuesday, some 91 hours after an earthquake flattened parts of this coastal city.

Video from the scene showed an ashen-faced and wide-eyed Ayda Gezgin, 3, as she was freed from the wreckage of a building. Crowds of rescuers in hardhats clapped and cried “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great,” in celebration.

The child, whose hair was caked with dust, was immediately wrapped in a gold foil blanket and carried to an ambulance through a sea of rescue workers.

Ayda Gezgin after being pulled out alive from the rubble in Izmir on Tuesday.AFAD / AP

Turkey’s disaster and emergency agency originally identified the child as 4-year-old Ayla Gezgin, but Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later said she was 3-year-old Ayda Gezgin.

“Ayda is the name of the miracle,” tweeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Thank you God to give us new hope with your smiley eyes.”

Her rescue, which occurred shortly after 10 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET), was broadcast live on Turkish TV. Rescue worker Cemil Kaya told NBC News by telephone that Ayda was found behind a dishwasher in the remnants of a kitchen.

In footage shot inside the ambulance and put out by the Turkish Health Ministry, Ayda asks for a traditional Turkish meal.

“We’ll get you Köfte and ayran,” a man traveling with her replies, using the Turkish for meatballs and a drink made from yoghurt and water.

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Ayda’s rescue was the latest in a series of remarkable finds after the Aegean Sea earthquake jolted the Turkish coastline and parts of Greece. On Tuesday, the official death toll reached 105, with more than 1,000 people injured, according to Turkey’s disaster and emergency agency.

The vast majority of the deaths and some of the injuries happened in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city after Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.

Members of rescue services and medics carry 3-year-old Ayda Gezgin into the ambulance covered in a thermal blanket on Tuesday.Emrah Gurel / AP

On Monday, rescue workers dug out two girls alive from the rubble in Izmir, which was badly hit by quake.

Idil Sirin, 14, was freed from wreckage after being trapped for 58 hours and Elif Perincek, 3, was extricated after 65 hours — two days after her mother and two sisters were rescued.

On Sunday, a 70-year-old man was also rescued from the rubble alive.

Two teenagers also died and 19 people were injured on the Greek island of Samos, near the quake’s epicenter in the Aegean Sea, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Geological Survey rated Friday’s quake at 7.0 magnitude, although other agencies in Turkey recorded it as less severe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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