Search and rescue work has largely ended across Turkey’s disaster zone, but a dog's unexpected groan from under the piles of concrete blocks quickly remobilized efforts near Antakya on Tuesday.
Alex, a young-looking husky, was pulled out from under rubble late on Tuesday as rescuers around him cheered. Footage released on Wednesday by the Demiroren News Agency (DHA) showed the dog looking frail, tired and in shock after the 23-day ordeal.
Osman Polat, a volunteer from Turkey’s Animal Rights Federation (HAYTAP) who helped in the rescue, told the state-run Anadolu News Agency that Alex is in good general condition despite losing a significant amount of weight.
A local resident of the village where Alex was found said aid teams heard him by chance as they were scouting the area for a spot to set up temporary shelters for the residents whose houses were razed to the ground by the twin earthquakes.
“He was pulled out from here after 23 days as a result of intense efforts,” the man told DHA.
In another video released by Anadolu, Alex's improvement was evident as he basked in the affection HAYTAP volunteers poured on him at the veterinary field hospital in Hatay.
22 gün sonra 'Alex' kurtarıldı— Odatv (@odatv) March 1, 2023
Hatay is among one of the hardest-hit provinces by Feb. 6 twin earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in southern Turkey and northern Syria, leading to colossal destruction in 11 Turkish provinces.