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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Turkey Earthquake October 2011 kills more than 260, Hundreds Missing

People rescue two women trapped under debris in Van eastsern Turkey after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, collapsing about 45 buildings in Van province, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011 according to the deputy Turkish prime minister.

Rescue teams in Turkey are continuing to search for people trapped under rubble after a strong earthquake hit the eastern Van region on Sunday.
Some 265 people died and 1,140 were injured in the 7.2 magnitude quake, according to Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin.
Nearly 1,000 buildings have been destroyed in the disaster zone, with the town of Ercis the worst hit.
The death toll is expected to rise as outlying areas are reached.

The BBC's Emily Buchanan says rescue teams face a race against time

Rescuers pulled out several survivors from beneath the ruins of collapsed buildings in Ercis on Monday - including one man who called for help on his mobile phone, Anatolia news agency said.
Cranes and heavy equipment are lifting slabs of concrete in Ercis and the larger city of Van as rescue crews cut through steel reinforcing bars and shift rubble in the search for more survivors.
The interior minister said he believed dozens of people were trapped in buildings in Ercis but not as many as initially feared.

Gul Karacoban, a 25-year-old high school teacher and earthquake survivor, is carried out on a stretcher by rescue workers, from a collapsed building after an earthquake in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van.

"There could be around 100 people [in the rubble]," the Associated Press news agency quoted Mr Sahin as saying.
"It could be more or it could be less but we are not talking about thousands."
Up to 80 buildings, including a student dormitory, collapsed in the town, about 100km (60 miles) north of Van, while 10 fell in Van itself.
The office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a total of 970 buildings in the earthquake zone had collapsed.
The BBC's Daniel Sandford, in Ercis, says some 80 people are still missing at one collapsed apartment block, which once contained 20 flats.
Search crews and heavy machinery are still at work at some destroyed buildings, but at other sites the recovery effort seems to have stopped altogether, with only a few despairing and shocked relatives sitting around.
On Sunday, Mr Erdogan visited the area and said he feared for residents of outlying villages that rescue workers had not yet reached.
"Because the buildings are made of mud brick, they are more vulnerable to quakes," said Mr Erdogan.
"I must say that almost all buildings in such villages are destroyed."
Turkish seismologist Polat Gulkan told the BBC that building regulations were often ignored in Turkey.

Earthquake area

The earthquake struck at 13:41 (10:41 GMT) at a depth of 20km (12 miles), with its epicentre 16km north-east of Van in eastern Turkey, the US Geological Survey said.
About 200 aftershocks have hit the region, it added, including one of magnitude 6.0 late on Sunday.
Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines.
Two earthquakes in 1999 with a magnitude of more than 7 killed almost 20,000 people in densely populated parts of the north-west of the country.

Earthquake area

  • One of Turkey's most earthquake-prone zones
  • Kurdish-populated
  • Ercis, an eastern city of 75,000 close to the Iranian border, was the worst-hit
  • Van, large ancient city of one million on a lake ringed by mountains, less affected

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