The youngster, identified by the Associated Press as Ferhat Tokay, was unscathed and survived until he was rescued by drinking rainwater that dripped through the rubble, the news service said, citing the boy’s uncle Sahin Tokay.
According to the uncle, who spoke to Turkish television, Azeri emergency workers were doubtful about finding the boy alive and had urged his relatives to leave the site and get some rest. Shortly after, rescuers discovered the boy.
“He didn't even have a scratch on him!” the uncle told Turkish television. “He was hungry on the first day, but the hunger pangs later disappeared.”
The death toll from Sunday’s 7.2-magnitude quake that struck the town of Ercis in eastern Van province had risen to at least 573 people by Friday, Turkish authorities said. Some 2,500 people had been injured and thousands left homeless. Around 5,700 were now uninhabitable, according to the AP, citing local authorities.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Los Angeles
Photo: Ferhat Tokay, 13, who survived for five days following Turkey's 7.2-magnitude earthquake,rests at a hospital after being rescued. Credit: Ahmet Izgi / Anadolu Agency / Reuters