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Rescue Efforts Continue After Turkey Earthquake

By Dorian Jones, VOA, Istanbul

Search efforts are continuing in southeastern Turkey for survivors of Sunday's powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The number of dead reported has exceeded 200 and the death toll is expected to continue to rise.

Rescue workers are racing against time to find the hundreds of people believed to be trapped under the rubble of buildings that fell after the the quake.

Authorities say the 7.2 magnitude quake collapsed or severely damaged thousands of buildings.

Despite battling against the numerous aftershocks, rescue efforts have been successful.

A women is dug out of her collapsed apartment block after being trapped for 10 hours. She calls out for her mother, who was injured.

The survivors are from the town Ercis, one of the worst hit areas where as many as 100 buildings were reported collapsed.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Van, the main city in the quake stricken region, late Sunday. He warned there may still be worse news to come.

He says the biggest concern is for the villages, because the buildings are made of clay and mud and are more vulnerable to quakes. He says almost all buildings in such villages are destroyed.

Van, Turkey

With the telephone system failing in many places, there has been little news from the area. Many of the roads have also been cut, adding to the difficulties of rescue efforts.

The remote and mountainous southeastern region of Turkey where the quake struck is one of the poorest parts of the country. Weather conditions worsened late Sunday, with freezing temperatures and forecasts for snow.

Turkey has received offers of help from numerous countries including the United States, Greece and Israel.

But Erdogan told reporters he has declined most offers of help.

Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines.

In 1999, two earthquakes registering more than seven points on the Richter scale killed almost 20,000 people in densely populated parts of the north-west of the country.

Iran sets up 50 emergency tents in quake-stricken Turkish province

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

The Iranian Red Crescent Society has, so far, set up 50 emergency tents in the quake-stricken Van province in eastern Turkey which was hit by a fatal earthquake, it was reported Monday.

Head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society Mahmoud Mozaffar said that Turkish officials have allocated an area in the quake-hit region to the Iranian relief workers to offer their medical and rescue services to the wounded people.

An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit Van province near Turkey's border with Iran at 13:40 local time Sunday killing so far, more than 200 people while hundreds more are feared to be dead.

According to Mozaffar, some 20 Iranian relief workers along with a group of evaluators, 20 ambulances, mobile hospital, emergency tents and food stuff have been sent to the quake-hit province early Monday.

... Payvand News - 10/24/11 ... --

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