Residents of a northwest Syrian town found a crying baby girl whose mother appeared to have given birth to her while buried underneath the remains of a five-story apartment building shattered by this week’s devastating earthquake, relatives and a doctor said on February 7, per USA Today.

The mother died before the rescue workers could reach her but the baby was saved by them, as per CBS.

She was found buried under the debris with her umbilical cord still connected to her mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, who was found dead, as per reports. The baby is reportedly the only member of her family to survive the building collapse on February 6 in the small town of Jinderis, next to the Turkish border, a relative, Ramadan Sleiman, told The Associated Press.

The rescuers found the baby on February 6 afternoon, more than 10 hours after the earthquake struck. A female neighbor cut the cord, and she and others rushed to take the baby to a children’s hospital in the nearby town of Afrin, where she has been kept in an incubator, said Dr. Hani Maarouf, the physician treating the baby, per USA Today.

The baby’s body temperature had fallen to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and she even had bruises, including a large one on her back, but now she is in stable condition, he said. Maarouf added he believed the baby had been born about three hours before being found, given the amount her temperature had dropped.

In another corner of Syria, a Syrian volunteer organization shared a video on Twitter showing a young child being pulled alive from the earthquake rubble in the village of Qatma. In the video, a rescuer is seen digging through concrete and twisted metal before they find a little girl, named Nour. The girl, who was still half buried, looks disoriented as the rescuers tell her, “Dad is here, don’t be scared. … Talk to your dad, talk.”

Deaths in both Syria and Turkey from the massive 7.8 earthquake and multiple aftershocks crossed 5,000 by February 7 and the World Health Organization said it was a “race against time” to rescue people trapped in the rubble in the freezing conditions.

Syria already has a refugee crisis after 12 years of brutal civil war and is facing extreme difficulty. The area worst affected by the earthquake is split between government-held territory, under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and opposition-held territory, which borders Turkey and is surrounded by government forces.

As per World Health Organization, Turkey had a strong capacity to respond to the devastation of the February 6 earthquake, but the needs in Syria are more extreme. “All over Syria, the needs are highest after nearly 12 years of protracted, complex crisis, while humanitarian funding continues to decline,” Adelheid Marschang, WHO Senior Emergency Officer, said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *