A newborn found alive after mother gives birth and dies trapped under earthquake rubble in Syria


A pregnant mother who was trapped under a collapsed building in Aleppo, Syria, after Monday’s devastating earthquake gave birth to her child under the rubble but died before rescue workers could reach her, local activists reported. Her newborn was saved by rescue workers.

The dramatic scene unfolded just hours after a Syrian volunteer organization shared video showing a young child being pulled alive from the earthquake rubble in the village of Qatma.

Deaths in both Syria and Turkey from Monday’s massive 7.8 earthquake and multiple aftershocks topped 5,000 Tuesday, and the World Health Organization said it was a “race against time” to rescue people trapped in the rubble in freezing conditions.

Syria, which already has a refugee crisis after 12 years of brutal civil war, is facing particular difficulty. The area worst affected by the earthquake is split between government-held territory, controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and opposition-held territory, which borders Turkey and is surrounded by government forces.

Senior officials from the World Health Organization said that Turkey had strong capacity to respond to the devastation of Monday’s earthquake, but the needs in Syria were more extreme.

“All over Syria, the needs are highest after nearly 12 years of protracted, complex crisis, while humanitarian funding continues to decline,” Adelheid Marschang, WHO Senior Emergency Officer, said.

Harrowing images have emerged of some of the millions of children caught in the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Some have been rescued alive, looking shellshocked, disheveled, their clothes, skin and hair layered with dust. Others have not been so lucky, their dead bodies wrapped in blankets and laid beside the road or clutched in the arms of grieving parents. Some children are the lone survivors of their families or are unidentified; rescue workers are frantically trying to reunite them with relatives.