Earthquake News

Eastern Turkey Earthquake

An earthquake strikes Eastern Turkey, killing hundreds of people.

ISTANBUL, Turkey — A massive earthquake struck eastern Turkey on Monday, killing at least 240 people and injuring more than 1,000, according to Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay.

Mr. Atalay said in a televised address that rescue teams were still searching for survivors and reaching the dead in and around Van, near Turkey's eastern border with Iran. According to news reports, up to 270 persons killed.

The Turkish Seismic Institute said on Monday that over 200 aftershocks rattled the area throughout the night.

After the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, more than 120 people were confirmed dead in Ercis, a hamlet approximately 30 miles from Van, and at least 100 people died in Van.

According to the semi-official Anatolian Agency, 350 casualties were recorded in Van and more than 700 in Ercis and adjacent villages.

Television video showed tens of thousands of terrified citizens spending the night in the streets, gathered around fires and wrapped in blankets and layers of clothes. Aid organizations from throughout the country teamed up to supply blankets and warm clothes to the area, which experiences temperatures below freezing in the early autumn.

Despite claims that numerous towns were left without help, Mr. Atalay stated that relief materials were supplied across the Van area.

He claimed in a broadcast announcement that 7,000 tents were provided in Van and another 5,000 in Ercis, and field kitchens were ready for up to 25,000 people.

Yalcin Akay, an Ercis resident, was rescued from the debris of a six-story building after calling for help on his mobile and directing rescuers to his position, according to Anatolian Agency.

Hundreds of people in Van ran through a cloud of smoke in one of the city's main avenues, sobbing and shouting in fear, according to video captured nearly immediately after the earthquake. As the entire magnitude of the destruction became obvious, frantic survivors delved through the fallen steel and concrete with their own hands, attempting to rescue the trapped and injured, as shown on several media networks.

He claimed in a broadcast announcement that 7,000 tents were provided in Van and another 5,000 in Ercis, and field kitchens were ready for up to 25,000 people.

Yalcin Akay, an Ercis resident, was rescued from the debris of a six-story building after calling for help on his mobile and directing rescuers to his position, according to Anatolian Agency.

Hundreds of people in Van ran through a cloud of smoke in one of the city's main avenues, sobbing and shouting in fear, according to video captured nearly immediately after the earthquake. As the entire magnitude of the destruction became obvious, frantic survivors delved through the fallen steel and concrete with their own hands, attempting to rescue the trapped and injured, as shown on several media networks.

President Barack Obama expressed his sympathies to the victims' families in a statement. Mr. Obama added, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the heroic men and women trying to deliver relief to this ravaged region." "In this difficult time, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Turkish friend and are ready to aid the Turkish authorities."

According to the Anatolian News Agency, Turkish Army units were dispatched to the mountainous region in the east, while the Health Ministry gathered 145 ambulances and 500 personnel to assist in the medical operation's coordination.

Tents, blankets, and other supplies were supplied to the region by the Turkish Red Crescent. In Turkey, which is crisscrossed by fault lines, earthquakes occur often, and both the government and the Red Crescent are expected to be more successful in arranging rescue and relief efforts. Two massive earthquakes struck northern Turkey in 1999, killing thousands of people.

"Tents will not suffice - we don't have food, and no rescue teams have yet arrived," said Serif Tarakci, a village administrator from Halkali, approximately 30 miles from Van. "It's frigid here at night since everyone is outside." Late Sunday night, the region's temperature was around 34 degrees.

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