(NEW YORK POST) – Rescue crews miraculously continued pulling survivors from the rubble in Turkey and Syria more than nine days after the region’s deadliest earthquake in modern history — including a 77-year-old woman was was found alive 212 hours after the tremblor.
Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense released video Wednesday showing workers carrying Fatma Gungor to safety in the city of Adiyaman Tuesday.
“I’m so excited, I don’t know what to say. We almost got to the point of giving up,” one of the crew members who extricated Gungor from the debris told public broadcaster TRT Haber.
Gungor was then loaded into a helicopter and flown to a hospital in the city of Mersin to be treated for injuries.
Earlier Tuesday, two brothers, Baki Yeninar, 21, and Muhammed Enes Yeninar, 17, were rescued in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, almost 200 hours after the quake.
Baki said he held onto life by drinking a protein shake.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent reporting from Turkey, said it’s rare for people to survive more than 100 hours in rubble.
But he suggested that below-freezing temperatures in the region could be prolonging the lives of those waiting to be rescued.
“The cold weather is a double edged sword,” Gupta explained. “On the one hand, it makes it very difficult, it is below freezing right now… On the other hand, it may reduce the demands for water. Perhaps that is playing into this.”
In Anatakya, the capital of Turkey’s Hatay province, Syrian national Faez Ghanam and his 15-year-old daughter, Seher Ghanam, were rescued after over 200 hours in the rubble. They were among at least nine people found alive in the region that day.
The teen wearing a leopard-print head scarf was photographed wrapped in foil for warmth being carried on a stretcher by workers.
Then on Wednesday, a 45-year-old woman identified as Melike İmamoğlu was found alive after spending 222 hours trapped beneath a destroyed apartment building in the city of Kahramanmaras.
Rescuer Hasan Kılınç told reporters: “We were there to identify four bodies. I suddenly bent down to assure my team if anyone was still there, it was then that I heard a groaning cry for help coming from the rubble. At first, I was scared, but then I was overjoyed. There she was, a 42-year-old woman who waited for a long time.”
“Her hands were warm when we pulled her out; her happiness was indescribable,” Kılınç added.
The combined death toll in Turkey and neighboring Syria has surpassed 41,000.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has acknowledged problems in the initial response to the 7.8 magnitude quake that struck early on Feb. 6 but has said the situation is now under control.
“We are facing one of the greatest natural disasters not only in our country but also in the history of humanity,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in Ankara.
UN authorities have said the rescue phase is coming to an end, with the focus shifting to shelter, food and schooling for some 26 million people in Turkey and Syria who have been affected by the disaster.