A 17-year-old girl has been rescued 248 hours after last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey. Aleyna Olmez was found alive and injured in a flattened apartment block in the southern city of Kahramanmaraş, near the epicenter of the earthquake. Her survival is considered miraculous, as rescues like hers are becoming increasingly rare.

Aleyna Olmez rescue
Photo courtesy of Mehmet Kaman and Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Aleyna survived in freezing weather conditions for 10 days before she was gently prised from the ruins of the building by rescuers. Turkish broadcaster TRT Haber reported that she appeared to be in good health, and she opened and closed her eyes when she was found. Ali Akdogan, a coal miner who took part in the rescue, said “we are happy whenever we find a living thing – even a cat.”

More than 41,000 people have died in Turkey and neighbouring Syria as a result of the earthquake, and neither country has revealed how many people are still missing. In Kahramanmaraş, three women and two children were also found alive on Wednesday.

Shortly after Aleyna’s rescue, Turkish soldiers ordered people to leave the scene as teams were finding corpses that would soon be carried out. The UN has launched a “flash appeal” for $1bn in aid to help the victims in Turkey. UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced in a statement that funding will enable aid organisations to rapidly scale up their support and benefit 5.2 million people over the next three months.

In Syria, the UN has said that more than 100 trucks loaded with aid have crossed into the north-west of the country since the Syrian government agreed to allow the UN to use two more border crossings. The aid includes tents, blankets, heaters, food, medicines, and cholera testing kits, the organization said.