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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 18:17 GMT

World: Europe

Quake victim found alive

Sefa Cebeci is stable in hospital in Istanbul

A 42-year-old woman has been rescued from the rubble of her home nearly five days after an earthquake hit north-west Turkey.

Turkey Earthquake
Sefa Cebeci was barely conscious after being trapped for 105 hours under tonnes of concrete in freezing temperatures.

Turkish commercial television said Israeli rescue workers pulled her out from the debris of the seven-storey building in the town of Duzce, the earthquake's epicentre, at 0330 local time (0130 GMT).

Her husband's dead body was dragged from the rubble moments earlier.

Mrs Cebeci has been taken to hospital in Istanbul where her condition is stable.

The BBC's Chris Morris reports: "Hundreds of people are still missing in the earthquake zone"
Doctors at the Cerrahpasa hospital are treating her for a broken arm and kidney failure due to dehydration.

"Her right arm was totally crushed. We plan to amputate from the shoulder very soon," Dr Emre Gorgun said.

Foreign rescuers pull out

Mrs Cebeci's rescue may revive the debate about how long people trapped after earthquakes can survive.

[ image: Foreign rescuers say there is little chance of finding anyone else alive]
Foreign rescuers say there is little chance of finding anyone else alive
Before she was found, several international relief teams said they were giving up the search, fearing that any survivors would have died in the freezing weather.

"It seems there are no chances of finding anybody alive, so we were asked to leave. We think that is the right decision," the leader of a German team, Gerd Friedsam, said on Tuesday.

But Antoine Crouan of the French Red Cross said: "It may be possible to find people alive for as long as 10 days after the Turkey earthquake, as happened with the disasters in Armenia and Colombia."

Click here to see a map of Turkey's tectonic plate movements

The region has suffered numerous aftershocks, including a tremor measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale that rocked the city of Bolu on Tuesday night.

No injuries were reported, although several damaged buildings collapsed.

The main quake hit Turkey on Friday, measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale. It was the second to strike the region in three months.

It killed at least 550 people and left another 3,300 injured, according to the latest official toll.

Homeless survivors are struggling to keep warm in the pouring rain and freezing weather.

The governor of Bolu province, where the devastation is concentrated, has said 80,000 survivors are living on the streets without proper shelter.

Many of the homeless are in shock and doctors have been warning there is a high risk of hypothermia.


[ image:  ]
As their plight continued, thousands of survivors in Bolu blocked the main route between the capital Ankara and the commercial centre of Istanbul on Tuesday in protest at the lack of tents and what they called official neglect.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency said the crowds dispersed after the local police chief urged them not to block ambulances using the road. Police were posted across the city as night set in.

The Turkish authorities' handling of relief operations since Friday had been largely praised until now.

Their response was quicker and more efficient than in August when a more powerful earthquake killed at least 17,000 people.

Meanwhile, an Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe summit of world leaders is due to go ahead in Istanbul on Thursday despite fears the city could itself be hit by a major earthquake.

[ image:  ]

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