On Monday, a devastating earthquake hit the Middle East and a newborn baby girl was found alive beneath the rubble of a collapsed building in Syria. Tragically, her mother, who gave birth to the baby before she died, was found deceased at the same site.
According to reports from relatives and a doctor, it appears that the mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, gave birth while trapped under the rubble. The newborn baby was the only survivor of her immediate family.
When rescue workers were digging through the rubble, they heard a faint voice and discovered the baby, who was still connected to her mother by the umbilical cord. The cousin of the baby, Khalil al-Suwadi, cut the cord and took the baby to the hospital.
Currently, the baby girl is receiving medical attention at a hospital in Afrin, Syria, and is in stable condition despite suffering from bruises, lacerations, and hypothermia. The baby’s body temperature had dropped to 95 degrees after the birth and if left for another hour, she would have passed away, according to Dr. Hani Maarouf who treated the baby.
The baby’s parents and siblings were attempting to escape the building as the earthquake struck, but all of them perished under the rubble. Their bodies were later found near the entrance of the building.
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The 7.8-magnitude earthquake has caused the death of over 4,000 people, with 1,500 found dead in Syria and nearly 3,000 in Turkey. The search for survivors continues as the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in the region since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, which killed over 30,000 people, unfolds.
The earthquake-stricken area is located on major fault lines and is also home to millions of refugees displaced by the ongoing civil war in Syria, adding to the already dire situation.
The United States has promised to provide aid to the affected countries. President Joe Biden stated that his administration has been working closely with Turkey, a NATO ally, and he has authorized an immediate U.S. response to the earthquake. Teams are deploying quickly to provide support for Turkish search and rescue efforts and to address the needs of those who have been injured and displaced by the disaster. The U.S. is also supporting humanitarian partners who are responding to the destruction in Syria.