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Three-year-old girl survives under rubble for three days after Turkey earthquake disaster

A three-year-old girl has been rescued after spending nearly 72 hours under the rubble of the devastating earthquake that rocked Turkey last Friday.

A three-year-old girl was pulled from the rubble of a deadly earthquake that struck Turkey’s western city of İzmir on Friday night.

Elif Perincek spent three days in the wreckage of her apartment before being rescued. As of yesterday, the death toll from the devastating earthquake, which hit both Turkey and Greece, rose to more than 100.

Elif Perincek turkey
Photo: Turkish Health Ministry/AP

Muammer Celik, a Turkish firefighter part of the search-and-rescue team, first discovered the girl, who was lying motionless between her bed and a closet in a space just big enough for her.

He asked his colleague for a body bag, but as Celik proceeded to wipe the child’s face, the girl opened her eyes and grabbed hold of his thumb.

That’s where we saw a miracle,” Celik told The Associated Press, recounting Monday’s operation which took place 65 hours after the quake hit. “This is a firefighter’s joy”.

Elif’s mother and her two ten-year-old twin sisters were rescued two days earlier, but unfortunately, her six-year-old brother did not survive.

Elif was not the only dramatic rescue on Monday, with onlookers cheering with joy as a 14-year-old boy was also pulled from the rubble.

Both rescues were a small sigh of relief in what has been a catastrophic few days for Turkey following the earthquake, with at least 100 recorded deaths and nearly 1,000 injured. Rescue teams continue to search for survivors in what has been worst natural disasters to hit the country this century.