Sunday, October 23, 2011
Photo Speak: Massive Earthquake Hits Turkey
The 7.2-magnitude tremor devastated parts of Van province in the east of the country, collapsing dozens of buildings into piles of twisted steel and chunks of concrete.
The worst hit was Ercis, a town of 75,000 close to the Iranian border in one of Turkey's most earthquake-prone zones. Twenty-five to 30 buildings collapsed including a dormitory.
At least 85 have been killed and 150 injured, but scientists estimated that up to 1,000 people could be dead, due to low housing standards in the area and the size of the quake.
An eight-storey building with shops underneath was flattened. Residents sobbed outside the ruins, hoping that missing relatives would be rescued.
CNN-Turk television showed one young man crying: 'My wife and child are inside! My 4-month-old baby is inside!'
'There are so many dead, but we don't know the number,' town mayor Zulfukar Arapoglu told NTV.
Camps were being set up to shelter people and blankets, food and water were being sent along with mobile kitchens. Military aircraft were helping with the rescue and relief efforts.
Emergency teams were trying to rescue people believed to be trapped in a building in Van, a bustling city with many apartment buildings near the Iranian border, state-run news agency Anatolian said
The Kandilli Observatory said the earthquake struck at 1041 GMT and was 5km deep. The U.S. Geological Survey earlier reported that the magnitude was 7.6.