Working against the clock in freezing temperatures, Turkish rescue teams pulled more survivors from collapsed buildings Sunday, days after a powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit the country's east. Rescued survivors wept with gratitude for their efforts, the AP reports. Turkish authorities said the death toll rose to at least 38 people from the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck Friday night. Turkish television showed Ayse Yildiz, 35, and her 2-year-old daughter Yusra being dragged out of the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in the city of Elazig. They had been trapped for 28 hours.
The quake also injured over 1,600 people but at least 45 survivors have been pulled alive from the rubble so far, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a news conference Sunday in Istanbul. More than 780 aftershocks rocked the region as over 3,500 rescue experts scrambled through wrecked buildings to reach survivors, working around the clock. One rescued couple was reunited with a Syrian student who had helped to dig them out of their collapsed home with his hands. "He is our hero and angel," a weeping Dudane Aydin said of Mahmud al Osman in an interview on Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency. As overnight temperatures dropped to 23 Fahrenheit, emergency teams set up more than 9,500 tents for displaced residents and distributed 17,000 hot meals.
(Read more earthquake