Turkey Rescuers Search For Trapped Quake Victims

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Turkey announced the death toll from Friday's strong earthquake has risen to 22, with more than 1,000 people injured.

Written By Associated Press Television News | Mumbai | Updated On:

Turkey announced the death toll from Friday's strong earthquake has risen to 22, with more than 1,000 people injured.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, speaking at a televised news conference near the epicenter of the quake, said 39 people had been rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings, including a woman recovered 14 hours after the main tremor.

Rescue workers were continuing to search for people buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Elazig province and neighbouring Malatya, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said earlier.

Emergency workers and security forces distributed tents, beds and blankets as overnight temperatures dropped below freezing in the affected areas.

Mosques, schools, sports halls and student dormitories were opened for hundreds who left their homes after the quake.

The quake hit Friday at 8:55 p.m. local time (1755 GMT) at a depth of 6.7 kilometres (around 4 miles) near Sivrice, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said.

Various earthquake monitoring centres gave magnitudes ranging from 6.5 to 6.8.

AFAD said it was followed by 228 aftershocks, the strongest with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1.

At least five buildings in Sivrice and 25 in Malatya province were destroyed, said Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum.

Hundreds of other structures were damaged and made unsafe.

Soylu said 18 people were killed in Elazig and four in Malatya. Some 1,030 people were hurt. Speaking at the same news conference, Koca said 34 people remain in intensive care.

Television footage showed emergency workers removing two people from the wreckage of a collapsed building in the town of Gezin.

Another person was saved in the city of Elazig, the provincial capital, and two more from a house in Doganyol, Malatya.

AFAD said 28 rescue teams had been working around the clock. More than 2,600 personnel from 39 of Turkey’s 81 provinces were sent to the disaster site.

Soylu said emergency work was proceeding under the threat of aftershocks.

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