[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Great Lakes
Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Rescuers comb quake rubble
Baby pulled from rubble
Workers celebrated the rescue
Scores of bodies continue to be pulled from the rubble of Algeria's earthquake as rescuers race against time to find remaining survivors.

Among the reported successes was the rescue of an two-and-half-year-old girl, pulled alive from the remains of a collapsed building.

The discovery - reported by state radio - gave hope to those combing the rubble as international rescuers and aid workers stepped up their efforts, sending specially trained dogs and listening devices.

More than 1,600 people are thought to have been killed by Wednesday's quake, while more than 7,000 have been injured.

Drivers abandoned their cars and started running, without knowing where they were going
BBC's Mohamed Arezki Himeur

The rescue of the baby in Boumerdes, near Algiers and the worst hit area of the country, took place 36 hours after the tremor hit.

Pulled out of the ruins of a five-storey building wearing just a torn orange T-shirt, the girl was given oxygen and taken away for treatment.

The girl's father told reporters rescue workers had initially thought they would have to amputate the girl's arm to pull her free.

National mourning

Hundreds or even thousands may still be trapped under collapsed buildings.

Algeria has begun three days of national mourning, but there will be no pause in the rescue effort.

Reghaia, northern Algeria

Dozens of military planes have been flying to Algiers airport, some with medical and rescue teams from France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the UK and Italy.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent made a short-term appeal for 2 million Swiss francs (nearly 1m) to provide food, blankets and medicines.

A specially chartered flight left Stansted airport in Britain on Friday carrying representatives from the International Rescue Corps and other British charities who will help search for survivors.

Russian doctors and rescuers - including two with sniffer dogs - are on their way from Moscow, while Germany is providing 25 rescuers and the UK nearly 100.

22 December 1999: 28 dead and 175 injured in north-west
18 August 1994: 172 dead and 288 injured in western region of Mascara
29 October 1989: 30 dead and 400 injured in Tipaza region
10 October 1980: About 3,000 dead and 8,000 injured and in al-Asnam
9 and 16 September 1954: 1,400 dead and 14,000 injured

Overnight, powerful after-shocks hitting Algiers and surrounding areas convinced many people to spend their second night in parks and open spaces.

But fear and grief is turning to anger at shoddy building standards of modern-day Algeria.

"The realtors are all crooks. If you see the buildings that date to the French colonial period, some of them are 150 years old - they didn't budge," a taxi driver told the AFP news agency.

In Reghaia, 35km (22 miles) east of Algiers, authorities requisitioned the municipal stadium, setting up tents for families whose houses were destroyed in the earthquake.

Food and water supplies are said to be running low and power and phone lines to the worst-hit areas remain cut.

Did you witness the earthquake?

Use the form below to send us your accounts, some of which will be published below.

I just hope every one is ok back home
Dahmane, UK
I am originally form Thenia which is the epicentre and I have been trying since yesterday evening to call home but no luck, following the news on our Algerian TV which I found useless. I just hope every one is ok back home.
Dahmane, UK

Waves from the earthquake have arrived in Ibiza and Menorca (we're due North), and have been so strong that they have damaged vessels in the harbours here. Can't imagine what it must have been like in Algiers. Send them what help you can.
J. Roberts, Spain

It was the booming noise that first alerted us that something was wrong. However, before we had the chance to do anything the room was violently shaking. My wife took our baby and got under the dining room table. Two friends suggested we go outside. The first shock lasted two or three minutes and smashed plates in the kitchen and brought plaster and paint of the walls. There were some pretty big after shocks throughout the night. The state of many buildings is still uncertain with some having gaping cracks. We pray that there isn't another as lots of buildings in Algiers are unsafe and in disrepair. As I write we are still feeling the aftershocks.
Robert Bailey, Algiers, Algeria

I have never seen anything like it in my life and I'm not even sure if my family are still alive!
Polopy Husir, Algeria

Your E-mail address

Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all emails will be published.

Click here to return

The BBC's Jonathan Charles
"Apartment blocks are now mass graves"

The BBC's Mohammed Arezki Himeur in Algiers
"The intense and un-flagging search has continued at the same pace today"

Earthquake survivors on Focus on Africa
"I have lost five members of my family"

Grim search for quake survivors
23 May 03  |  Middle East
In pictures: Algeria earthquake
22 May 03  |  Photo Gallery
Eyewitness: The earth shook
23 May 03  |  Africa
Deadly history of earthquakes
01 May 03  |  In Depth
Why do they happen?
26 Mar 02  |  Earthquakes
Country profile: Algeria
06 May 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Algeria
03 Mar 03  |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific