Syrian woman gives birth while trapped under rubble after earthquake

APTOPIX Syria Turkey Earthquake Newborn Rescue
A baby girl who was born under the rubble caused by an earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey receives treatment inside an incubator at a children’s hospital in the town of Afrin, Aleppo province, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. Residents in the northwest Syrian town discovered the crying infant whose mother gave birth to her while buried underneath the rubble of a five-story apartment building levelled by this week’s devastating earthquake, relatives and a doctor say. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed) Ghaith Alsayed/AP

Syrian woman gives birth while trapped under rubble after earthquake

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Rescuers recovered a newborn in Syria who was born under rubble from a recent devastating earthquake.

Relatives and a doctor told the Associated Press that the baby girl was recovered with the umbilical cord still attached. Her mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, was found dead.

The baby was the only member of the family to be recovered alive; the father and the four other children were crushed in the rubble.

Dr. Hani Maarouf, who is caring for the girl at the children’s hospital where she was taken, emphasized the close timing of the rescue.

“Had the girl been left for an hour more, she would have died,” he said.


The baby was estimated to have been born several hours before she was rescued based on her low body temperature. She would not have been able to survive as long if she was born prior to the earthquake, Maarouf said, so her mother must have given birth to her after being trapped under the rubble for hours.

“She was found in front of her mother’s legs,” one of the rescuers said. “After the dust and rocks were removed, the girl was found alive.”

The baby was found in mostly good condition aside from her low body temperature and some bruising.

“Our only concern is the bruise on her back, and we have to see whether there is any problem with her spinal cord,” Maarouf said. He added that they haven’t found any issues with her ability to move her arms or legs.

Video posted on social media showed the moments the rescuers reached the child and carried her away to be cared for at a nearby children’s hospital.

The rescue occurred in the northwest Syrian town of Jinderis, which is under rebel control. Hadiya had recently moved there after being uprooted from her home in the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour after her town was seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in 2014.


Turkey and Syria were rocked by a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake Monday. The latest death toll estimates exceed 7,800, the Washington Post reported.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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