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Photos: Quake survivors found in remarkable rescues; toll of injured passes 900
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Photos: Quake survivors found in remarkable rescues; toll of injured passes 900

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IZMIR, Turkey — Rescue workers in western Turkey extricated a 70-year-old man from a collapsed building Sunday, 34 hours after a strong earthquake killed at least 66 people and injured more than 900 in Turkey and Greece

The man was pulled out of the rubble overnight and doing well at a hospital, according to the Turkish health minister. The minister tweeted that the survivor, Ahmet Citim, told him, "I never lost hope."

The operation that saved Citim was the latest in a series of remarkable rescues after the Friday afternoon earthquake.

But on the third day since the disaster, search-and-rescue teams appeared to be finding more bodies than survivors in Izmir, Turkey's third-largest city.

The earthquake was centered in the Aegean northeast of the Greek island of Samos. Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) raised the death toll Sunday in Izmir province to 64. The agency said 949 people were injured in Turkey, with more than 220 still receiving treatment Sunday.

The quake triggered a small tsunami that hit Samos and the Seferihisar district of Izmir, drowning one elderly woman. The tremors were felt across western Turkey, including in Istanbul as well as in the Greek capital of Athens. Hundreds of aftershocks followed.

Turkey has a mix of older buildings and cheap or illegal construction, which can lead to serious damage and deaths when earthquakes hit. Two destroyed apartment buildings in Izmir where much of the rescues are taking place had received reports of "decay" in 2012 and 2018, according to the municipal agency in charge of such certificates. 

AFAD said nearly 6,400 personnel had been activated for rescue work and hundreds of others for food distribution, emergency help and building damage control.

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Bilginsoy reported from Istanbul. Ayse Wieting in Istanbul and Frances D'Emilio in Rome contributed.

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