People trapped as 29 killed and 1,400 injured in Turkey earthquake

At least 29 people have been killed after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck eastern Turkey.
More than 1,400 people are injured – including 34 who are in intensive care but not critical, Health Minster Fahrettin Koca said.

It is estimated that more than 20 people are trapped under debris, while more than 40 have been rescued so far.

Image: At least 22 people have died following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey
The quake jolted Elazig province, which is around 340 miles (550km) east of the capital Ankara, and was followed by dozens of aftershocks.
People died in Elazig and in the neighbouring province of Malatya. Rescue efforts are continuing at three sites in Elazig.

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Hundreds of residents were left homeless or with damaged homes as buildings collapsed in affected towns near the centre of the tremor, which was felt in several neighbouring countries.

President Tayyip Erdogan travelled to Elazig and Malatya and said state house developer TOKI would make sure no one was left “hungry or in the open”.

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Officials have identified 514 heavily damaged and 409 lightly damaged buildings in the two locations.

Image: More than 500 people were injured in the disaster
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu described the earthquake as a “level 3” incident, according to Turkey’s emergency response plan – meaning that it called for a national response but did not require international help.
Elazig residents whose homes were damaged were being moved to student dormitories or sports centres amid freezing conditions.
Mr Soylu added that the country, which is prone to earthquakes, had learnt lessons from past disasters which helped it address Friday’s quake.
Drones were deployed in search operations and communication between provinces.

Image: Many people have lost their homes
The quake struck at 8.55pm local time (5.55pm in the UK) at a depth of four miles (6.7km), near the town of Sivrice in Elazig, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said.
It was followed by 401 aftershocks, 14 of which had magnitudes of over 4, AFAD added.
Residents were warned not to return to damaged buildings.
AFAD said beds, blankets and tents were being sent to the area, where the overnight temperature dipped to minus 8C (17.6F).
Syria and Iran both reported feeling the earthquake, according to the countries’ state media.

Image: The overnight temperature in the area was below 0C (32F)
Turkey straddles seismic faultiness and has a history of powerful earthquakes.
In 1999, more than 17,000 people were killed when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck the western city of Izmit, about 55 miles (90km) southeast of Istanbul. Around 500,000 people were made homeless after the disaster.
And in 2011 an earthquake struck the eastern city of Van and the town of Ecris, killing at least 523 people.

Source : Sky News