Israeli rescue teams save 10 from earthquake in Turkey, including 2-year-old

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Israeli rescue teams save 10 from earthquake in Turkey, including 2-year-old

IDF emergency team said a 23-year-old woman was "rescued and returned to her fiancé," while Magen David Adom saved a child from the rubble.

IDF rescue team in Turkey, February 2023. Credit: IDF
IDF rescue team in Turkey, February 2023. Credit: IDF

Israeli emergency teams in Turkey have saved 10 people caught in a deadly earthquake that left over 16,000 people killed. 

The 150-member team, led by the the IDF Home Front Command, as well as Magen David Adom, United Hatzalah and IsraAID are all operating in southern Turkey, attempting to rescue and find victims of the earthquakes, which hit neighbouring Syria as well.


The IDF team said it had saved a two-year-old from the rubbles: “The baby is healthy and has been sent to the hospital,” Alan Hominer, retired IDF captain said. A 10-year-old boy, whose four family members were killed in the earthquake, was also rescued earlier on Wednesday.

Lieutenant colonel (ret.) Felix Lotan from MDA, told Jewish News that his team is operating in the city of Kahramanmaras, describing it as a “huge disaster” area.

“It was very difficult to get in to the city, because the roads were destroyed and people were leaving while rescue teams were entering at the same time. It was a nightmare,” Lotan said.

“My team succeeding in rescuing a 12-year-old boy. We drilled a hole through the basement and dragged him out. He received medical treatment from us and was then sent to a hospital,” he said, adding that another Israeli team managed to save a boy overnight as well.

IDF team leader Maj. (res.) Matan Schneider, said they arrived last night in southern Türkiye at a destruction site where “locals called us, saying they heard noises from the ruins. We began a complex four-and-a-half-hour rescue mission that included a great deal of engineering work and the work of a doctor and paramedics.”

“At the end, a 23-year-old woman was rescued and retuned to her fiancé, healthy and safe, only with a fractured pelvis,” Schneider said.

Turkey’s President Erdogan arrived in Kahramanmaras on Wednesday, saying: “Initially there were issues at airports and on the roads, but today things are getting easier and tomorrow it will be easier still. We have mobilised all our resources. The state is doing its job.”

Israel dispatched emergency teams to Turkey on Monday night, following a request from Erdogan. WHO warned that as many as 20,000 people could be dead.

People react as they sit next to a fire near the site of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, February 7, 2023. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Another 230 member IDF delegation has been sent to Turkey, which includes officers and soldiers from the IDF Medical Corps and search and rescue personnel from the Home Front Command, as well as doctors, nurses and paramedics from the Ministry of Health. The team said it will set up up a field hospital.

A team of six medical personnel from Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center was also dispatched to earthquake-affected regions.

“As in past disasters, Shaare Zedek staff members will serve on the front lines in representing the People and State of Israel in this critical mission,” Shaare Zedek’s Director General Prof. Ofer Merin said.

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