Monday, 8 March 2010
Update on Turkish Earthquake
I'm now back on line, and have just checked for the latest news on this morning's earthquake.
The following is a report by Todays Zaman newspaper:
"A strong earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6, hit eastern Turkey on Monday, killing at least 57 people and knocking down houses in at least three small villages, the Government said.
Mayor Bekir Yanılmaz, of the town of Kovancılar said the victims were from the villages of Okcular, Yukarı Kanatlı and Kayalı, where the quake toppled stone or mud-brick homes and the minarets of mosques.
The government's crisis center said around 71 people were also injured in the quake which occurred at 4:32 a.m. (0232 GMT, 9 p.m. EST) in Elazığ province, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) east of Ankara, the capital, and caught many people in their sleep.
It was centered near the village of Başyurt, and was followed by more than 20 aftershocks, the strongest measuring 4.1, according to İstanbul's Kandilli Observatory seismology center.
Emergency workers were trying to rescue four people from debris, Gov. Muammer Erol said.
CNN-Türk television said the dead included four young sisters trapped in the rubble.
"Everything has been knocked down, there is not a stone in place," said Yadin Apaydın, administrator for the village of Yukarı Kanatlı, where he said at least three villagers died.
Authorities blocked access to Okçular village, where most of the deaths occurred, to facilitate the entry and exit of ambulances and rescue teams on the village's narrow roads. Relatives rushed to the village for news of their loved ones.
The quake was felt in the neighboring provinces of Tunceli, Bingöl and Diyarbakır where residents fled to the streets in panic and spent the night outdoors.
Some of the injuries occurred during the panic, when people jumped from windows or balconies. TV footages showed people bringing in the injured to hospitals by cars and taxis.
Kandilli Observatory's director, Mustafa Erdik, urged residents not to enter damaged homes, warning that they could topple from the aftershocks, which could last for days.
Television footage showed rescue workers and soldiers at Okçular lifting debris as villagers looked on. Two women sat on mattresses wrapped in blankets. Turkey's Red Crescent organization began setting up tents in the region.
Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, much of which lies atop the North Anatolian fault. In 1999, two powerful earthquakes struck northwestern Turkey, killing about 18,000 people."
13.50 Turkish time (11.50 GMT)