News Story

Alp Arslan. The tragedy of child survivors of the earthquake

  • A photo taken on February 13 of the deceased Syrian child Alp Arslan Berri. Archival

  • A child protects her brother with her hand and asks the paramedic to pull her out of the rubble. Archival

  • The terrifying scenes experienced by the children have a devastating effect on their minds and psyches. Archival


The death of a three-year-old Syrian child, Alp Arslan Berri, in a hospital in Idlib, northwestern Syria, due to limb mashing syndrome, is a warning bell for the suffering of thousands of children victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and northern Syria on the sixth of February.

The child Alp Arslan miraculously survived, after 40 hours under the rubble, where he was found in the lap of his father, who died like his mother and two brothers, and continued to suffer from the syndrome «mashing limbs», following the earthquake that killed more than 50,<> people in Turkey and Syria.

The syndrome, which results from pressure on the extremities for more than 12 hours, which leads to interruption of blood circulation at the tissue level, and exposes the patient to amputation, kidney failure and heart problems, threatens the lives of many survivors with herress syndrome, young and old.

Hundreds of earthquake victims suffer from this condition, and they need an urgent response, and advanced medical care, so that they do not enter into a state of multiple organ failure, bacteremia, and the injury turns fatal, as happened to the child Arslan.

There is also the case of nine-year-old Sham Sheikh Mohammed and her 15-year-old brother Omar, who were transferred from northern Syria to Turkey for treatment, due to limb mashing syndrome.

The children of the earthquake lived moments of silence and screaming, stupor and trembling, moaning and crying. All of them are sad scenes of the children of livers, circulated on social media platforms, after they were surprised by the devastating earthquake, so that everyone found himself under the rubble, between a screamer, an injured and a survivor.

The details of the suffering, the size of the sense of it, and the scenes of the pictures, confirm the need for urgent action to restore the psychological and mental balance of these children before it is too late, if the impact of the earthquake on adults is catastrophic, the matter with children is more tragic, and its impact is destructive to the child's mentality and psychology, in light of the terrifying scenes that he experienced under the rubble, and among the bodies of his loved ones.

The photos of the surviving children, which spread on social media, embodied the scale of the tragedy, and everyone who watched it interacted with it, especially the video in which a child appears to protect her brother with her hand, ask the paramedic to pull her out of the rubble, and express her willingness to work for him.

Child earthquake victims are in dire need today and before tomorrow, of psychological care, to help them so that their plight does not cross red lines.