JINDERIS, Syria ( Associated Press) — Residents digging through the rubble of a collapsed building in a northwestern Syrian town found a crying newborn girl whose mother apparently gave birth under the rubble of a devastating earthquake in Syria. Had given. This week, family members and a doctor said on Tuesday.
The child was still attached by the umbilical cord to its mother, Afrah Abu Hadiya, who had passed away. A relative, Ramzan Sleiman, told The Associated Press that she was the only one in her family who survived Monday’s building collapse in the small town of Jindris, near the Turkish border.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn on Monday, followed by several aftershocks, causing widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Thousands of people have died and the number keeps rising as more bodies are found. But there have also been dramatic rescues. Elsewhere in Jinderis, a girl was found alive, trapped under the concrete of her destroyed home.
Rescue workers found the newborn Monday afternoon, more than 10 hours after the quake. After rescue workers pulled him out, a neighbor cut the rope and he was taken to a children’s hospital in the neighboring city of Afrin, where he was placed in an incubator, said Dr. Hani Maarouf, the attending physician.
Video of the rescue circulating on social media shows moments after the baby is pulled from the rubble, when a man picks it up, with its umbilical cord still dangling, and runs away as another man tries to wrap around it. Throws the blanket.
Marouf said her body temperature had dropped to 95 °F (35 °C) and she also had a large wound on her back, but was in stable condition.
Maroof said that Abu Hadiya would have been conscious during the delivery and would have died soon after. They estimated that the girl had been born several hours before she was found, given the sharp drop in her temperature. He said that if the child had been born shortly before the tremors, she would not have survived so many hours in the cold.
“If the girl had stayed (under the debris) for another hour, she would have died,” he said.
When an earthquake struck the region on Monday, Abu Hadiya, her husband and four children reportedly tried to run out of their building, but the structure collapsed on them. Their bodies were found near the building’s entrance, said Sleiman, who arrived at the scene shortly after the newborn was discovered.
“She was found at the feet of her mother,” he said. “After removing the dust and stones, they found the girl alive.”
Marouf said the baby girl weighed 3,175 kg (7 lb), which is the average weight for a newborn baby, so she was near term. “Our only concern is the scratch on his back and we will have to see if there is anything wrong with his spine,” he added. He said that he is moving his legs and arms normally.
Jindris, a rebel stronghold in northwestern Syria, was hit hard by the quake, with dozens of buildings collapsing.
Abu Hadiya and her family were among the millions of Syrians who fled rebel-held territory in other parts of the country. A relative named Saleh al-Badran said they were originally from the city of Khasham in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, but left after the Islamic State group took control of their city in 2014.
Sleiman said that in 2018, the family moved to Jindris after the Syrian National Army, an organization of several Turkish-backed rebel groups, seized the city from US-backed Kurdish-led fighters.
On Tuesday, Abu Hadiya and the girl’s father, Abdullah Turki Malihan, were buried along with their four other children at a cemetery on the outskirts of Jindris.
In the town, rescue operations continued in their building in the hope of finding more survivors.
The city was the scene of another dramatic rescue on Monday night, when a girl was pulled alive from the remains of a building. A White Helmets video shows a rescuer pushing away pieces of concrete and bent iron until a girl named Noor appears. Still partially buried, the girl looks confused when she is told: “Daddy’s here, don’t be afraid. Talk to your dad, talk.”
The rescuer takes his head in his hands and gently wipes the dust off his face before they finish digging him up.
The quake added further devastation to the opposition-controlled region centered on Syria’s Idlib province, already battered by years of war and overwhelmed by an influx of people displaced by the country’s civil war, which began in 2011 .
Monday’s earthquake killed hundreds of people in the region, and that number continues to rise. It is believed that hundreds of people are still buried under the debris. According to the White Helmets, known as the civil defense of the region, the earthquake partially or completely demolished more than 730 buildings and damaged thousands more in the area.
The White Helmets have years of experience evacuating victims from buildings destroyed by Russian or Syrian government bombings. Earthquakes are a new disaster for them.
“Both are catastrophes: a catastrophe that has been going on for 12 years and the perpetrator has not been held accountable, and it is a natural disaster,” said Munir Mustafa, deputy head of the White Helmets.
Asked if there was any difference between the rescue work during the earthquake and the war, he said, “We cannot compare death with death…what we are seeing today is death upon death.”
Mauro reported from Beirut.