Rescue efforts continue in Turkey as Greece sends extra search team

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Rescue efforts are continuing in Turkey and Syria after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the countries on Monday.

According to ABC News, the death toll from the earthquake has climbed past 11,500, making it the deadliest seismic event in more than a decade. 

Tens of thousands of people remain missing in the rubble of buildings which toppled during the earthquake. Four Australians also remain unaccounted for, Nine News has reported.

In response, Greece sent a second special disaster management team (EMAK) to the earthquake-stricken Turkish city of Hatay on Wednesday.

This second team comprises 15 rescuers, a trained dog, three paramedics and a Fire Brigade engineer officer.

Including the first EMAK team already operating in south-eastern Turkey, the Greek mission now totals 36 rescuers, 8 doctors and paramedics, 2 civil engineer officers and 3 rescue canines.

The Australian government has also moved to urgently provide humanitarian aid to Turkey and Syria. Australia has announced an initial $10 million in aid, as well as a search and rescue team of up to 72 personnel to Turkey to assist local authorities.

Young woman rescued by Greek team after six hour effort:

On Wednesday, the Greek EMAK team already in Turkey rescued a young woman, Irin, from the ruins of a building in Hatay.

Greek rescuers in Turkey.

According to AMNA.gr, the team members originally thought the calls for help were coming from a young boy trapped under his dead mother. The boy was found dead, and the young woman was further in the rubble, trapped by a concrete block.

The rescue operation had to be briefly interrupted when two aftershocks occurred. 

Irin’s rescue took over six hours, with the rescue members holding her hand to reassure her. She was picked up by an ambulance. 

Greek rescuers have so far freed a 6-year-old girl from the rubble of her home in the city of Iskenderun on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they also pulled out a surviving 15-year-old boy from the rubble. 

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