GAZIANTEP, Turkey – Security cameras captured dramatic video of hospital staff in Gaziantep, Turkey, rushing to save newborns, children and other people as the ground violently shook during a catastrophic and deadly earthquake last week.
The video footage, shared by Turkish Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca, shows two nurses rushing to hold onto incubators to prevent them from tipping over or sliding across the floor during the initial moments of the first powerful earthquake.
The second part of the video shows hospital staff running through the halls of the hospital to evacuate other children and people from the building.
“Our friends at Gaziantep Inayet Topcuoglu Hospital saved our sick children at the cost of their lives during the earthquake,” Koca tweeted. “There are many examples of this in other hospitals as well. Our people who started running to the earthquake provinces at the very first moment did the same thing.”
The desperate search for people who survived under the rubble of collapsed buildings after a series of catastrophic and deadly earthquakes rocked Turkey and Syria last week is winding down as tens of thousands of people struggle to stay warm in crowded tents or on the streets.
According to the Associated Press, more than 35,000 people were killed in the earthquakes. The death toll now surpasses Japan’s devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which killed just over 18,000 people.
Millions of people were jolted awake when the first earthquake, a magnitude 7.8, struck the region at 8:17 p.m. EST last Sunday, and that was almost immediately followed by a strong 6.7 magnitude aftershock, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Nine hours later, the region had another violent shake with a powerful 7.5 magnitude aftershock – just one of the hundreds of aftershocks of varying magnitude that continued to shake the area for days.
According to USGS data, last Monday’s initial 7.8 magnitude quake had a depth of 11 miles and was likely felt as far away as Beirut in Lebanon and Cairo in Egypt.
The area where the earthquake struck is considered seismically active. However, the USGS said there had previously only been three quakes of magnitude 6 or larger within about 150 miles of the epicenter since 1970.
The AP noted that some 18,000 people were killed during powerful earthquakes that shook northwestern Turkey in 1999.