Turkey-Syria earthquakes: baby whose mother died after giving birth to her in rubble back with family

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Baby Aya’s mother died after giving birth to her in the rubble of their Syria home. Now she’s been reunited with her wider family, also left homeless by the earthquakes.

A baby born in the rubble of her family home - whose mother died giving birth to her - has been reunited with her wider family, currently living in a tent after their own home was destroyed.

More than 21,000 people have been killed, after Turkey and Syria were hit by two massive earthquakes on Monday (6 February). Thousands of buildings across the two countries collapsed, and while attempts to rescue survivors are ongoing, time is fast running out.

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The baby girl was pulled alive from the rubble of a home in northern Syria, still attached to her mother by her umbilical cord. Sadly, her mother did not survive.

Cousin Khalil al-Suwadi said the infant is the sole survivor from her immediate family, who were all killed when the earthquakes flattened the family home in the rebel-held town on Jindayris.

The Guardian reports the girl, who is currently receiving care at a medical clinic in Afrin, has been named Aya - Arabic for “a sign from God”. Her parents and siblings all have been killed, so great-uncle Salah al-Badran said he will take her in once she is released from hospital.

Baby Aya was found still tied by her umbilical cord to her mother when she was pulled alive from the rubble of a home in northern Syria following the deadly earthquakes (Photo by RAMI AL SAYED/AFP via Getty Images)Baby Aya was found still tied by her umbilical cord to her mother when she was pulled alive from the rubble of a home in northern Syria following the deadly earthquakes (Photo by RAMI AL SAYED/AFP via Getty Images)
Baby Aya was found still tied by her umbilical cord to her mother when she was pulled alive from the rubble of a home in northern Syria following the deadly earthquakes (Photo by RAMI AL SAYED/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

But he and his household of 11 are currently living in a tent after their own house was destroyed, he told the Associated Press.

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“After the earthquake, there’s no one able to live in his house or building. Only 10% of the buildings here are safe to live in and the rest are unliveable,” he told reporters via voice messages.

Hani Maarouf - a doctor at medical centre in Afrin - told the BBC baby Aya was now in a stable condition. “She arrived on Monday in such a bad state, she had bumps, bruises, she was cold and barely breathing," he said.

The US Geological Survey measured the first quake at magnitude 7.8, with a depth of 11 miles. Hours later, a magnitude 7.5 magnitude tremor, likely triggered by the first, struck more than 60 miles away.

There have been more than 3,300 casualties in Syria. Some of the worst-affected parts of the country are in the rebel-held northwestern provinces, where millions still live in extreme poverty and rely on humanitarian aid to survive.

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