7.2 Earthquake in Turkey -1000+ deaths

October 23, 2011 18:13
7.2 Earthquake in Turkey -1000+ deaths

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 struck eastern Turkey at 1:41 p.m. on Sunday. 
Bekir Kaya, the mayor of Van, told to Television sources that, “Two buildings collapsed in the center of eastern city of Van, but the communication system is jammed due to panic and we can’t assess the entire damage immediately.”
"There are so many dead. Several buildings have collapsed, there is too much destruction," said Zulfikar Arapoglu, the mayor for the town of Ercis said to media.

Some 25 apartment buildings and a student dormitory collapsed in the town of Ercis on the north shore of Lake Van, the Turkish Red Crescent said.

Television pictures from Van Province showed rescuers and members of the public climbing over massive piles of cinderblocks that had been a building before the earthquake hit.  Ambulances and bulldozers were on the scene.

A seven-story building collapsed on Kazim Karabekir Street in the city of Van, and more buildings were reduced to rubble the village of Tabanli in Van Province, the Anatolian news agency said. It was unknown how many people were trapped.

"There are so many dead. Several buildings have collapsed. There is too much destruction," Zulfikar Arapoglu, the mayor of Ercis, told NTV television. "We need urgent aid. We need medics."

Serious damage and casualties were also reported in the district of Celebibag, near Ercis.

"There is serious human and material loss," said a brief statement from the the national disaster body which is based in the prime minister's office. "Many multi-floor buildings, hotels and a dormitory were collapsed," said Veysel Keser, a local official from Van.

"We can hear voices from the collapsed buildings," he said. "We need urgent aid, we need medics," he added.

The state-run Anatolia news agency said rescue workers were trying to reach people believed to be trapped under the wreckage of a seven-story building in Van, close to the Iranian border.
TurkeyEarthquakeThe U.S. Geological Survey said, the quake had a depth of 7.2 kilometers (4.5 miles), which is shallow and could potentially cause more damage.
Turkey's Kandilli observatory gave it a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 but put its depth at five kilometers. Several aftershocks as strong as magnitude 5.5 followed, the observatory said.
The quake's epicenter was in the village of Tabanli in eastern Van province, bordering Iran.
The quake was strongly felt in neighboring provinces, media said.
Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which is crossed by fault lines.

The last quake of that magnitude in Turkey -- a 7.2 tremor in Duzce in 1999 -- killed 894 people, the USGS reported. A 7.6 earthquake in Izmit, Turkey, killed more than 17,000 people the same year, according to the USGS.

Sunday's major quake hit at 1:41 p.m. local time and was followed by at least seven aftershocks, American and Turkish monitoring agencies reported.

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