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Turkey Earthquake 2011: Miyuki Konnai, Japanese Aid Worker, Used Laptop Light To Survive

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She came to help the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey in October, yet when a second tremor struck the country, Japanese aid worker Miyuki Konnai found herself buried underneath the rubble herself.

On Wednesday, a 5.7-magnitude quake shook Turkey's earlier-hit eastern province of Van. The quake leveled several buildings, among them the Bayram Hotel, where Konnai and other Japanese aid workers were staying. Konnai was trapped under the debris, seemingly without a way out.

Yet stuck in the dark, Konnai found hope -- in a tiny ray of light.

She told MSNBC:

"When I finally managed to open my left eye slowly, there was a ray of light I could see in what I thought was complete darkness. That light gave me a relief and gave me a hope to live. That was the light from the computer I was using."

Konnai is part of a Japanese team of aid workers, called Japan's Association for Aid and Relief, who traveled to Van in the wake of the October quake. She told MSNBC she felt the need to help because she was moved by the country's support for Japan after last year's tsunami. She wanted to repay them for their support, MSNBC reports.

Rescue workers saved Konnai on Thursday. Yet for one of her colleagues, Japanese doctor Atsushi Miyazaki, help arrived too late. Miyazaki died later that day in a Turkish hospital. At least two reporters from the Turkish Dogan news agency are still trapped underneath the rubble of the Bayram Hotel.

WATCH footage of the hotel collapsing:

According to the Associated Press, dozens of residents protested in front of the destroyed Bayram Hotel on Thursday, blaming authorities for not closing the hotel after the first earthquake hit the town in October.

The earthquake that hit Van last month killed more than 600 people and left thousands homeless right before the start of winter. In recent days, residents of the area have complained about the authorities' response to the drama.

The death toll of Wednesday's quake rose to 22. Rescue workers continue the search for survivors.

"We are not able to hear any voices," disaster management official Askit Dayi told the Associated Press. "But still we are removing layers of concrete in a way as if there are survivors."

Below is a slideshow of the earthquake's destruction, and efforts to rescue survivors.

Also on The Huffington Post

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