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Swiss rescuer lauds Türkiye quake victims’ fortitude in trying times

A Swiss rescuer who participated in search and rescue operations in quake-hit Türkiye said she cannot forget some of the touching moments there.

Monika Suter told the Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger on Wednesday that during the mission, the memory of “the people still willing to share with us their last soup, out of gratitude” stayed in her mind.

Suter was part of an 87-member Swiss rescue team that was deployed in Türkiye’s Kahramanmaras province, which was struck by two devastating earthquakes on February 6, along with 10 other provinces and northern Syria.

She said she was shocked after seeing the collapsed buildings in the cold.

“There was despair, but also hope. You cannot imagine that,” she added.

Suter explained that the rescue dogs helped them through the operations and that her team rescued five survivors from the rubble.

‘We had prepared her grave’: Woman pulled alive from Türkiye quake debris

Deaths and destruction

At least 38,044 people were killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southeastern Türkiye on Feb. 6, the country’s disaster agency said early Friday.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes were centred in Kahramanmaras and struck 10 other provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Hatay, Gaziantep, Malatya, Kilis, Osmaniye, Elazig and Sanliurfa. More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

Live updates: Death toll rises as UN appeals for $1B aid for Türkiye

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