News / Europe

Death Toll Rises in Turkey Quake

Emergency service workers carry an earthquake survivor during rescue operations in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van, October 24, 2011.
Emergency service workers carry an earthquake survivor during rescue operations in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van, October 24, 2011.

Rescuers in Turkey have pulled several more survivors from the rubble in the aftermath of Sunday's earthquake that officials say killed 279 people and injured more than 1,300 others.

Officials say the magnitude 7.2 quake near Turkey's border with Iran did the most damage in the town of Ercis, about 90 kilometers north of the city of Van. The death toll from the quake is expected to rise.

Death Toll Rises in Turkey Quake
Death Toll Rises in Turkey Quake

Hundreds of rescuers worked through the night with heavy equipment to lift fallen slabs of concrete hoping to find survivors. The government says dozens of large buildings collapsed in the quake.

The earthquake shut down electricity and water in several areas. More than 100 aftershocks have shaken the area since the quake hit, including one with a magnitude of 6.1.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the area Sunday. He said mud-brick homes in nearby villages had all been flattened.

World leaders sent condolences and offers of help to Turkey. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia made a joint phone call to Turkish President Abdullah Gul to express their sympathies.

Countries, including the United States and Israel, have offered their help. U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday the U.S. will stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Turkey during this difficult time.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was saddened to learn of the loss of life from Sunday's quake. He praised Turkish authorities for their rapid response to the disaster and said the U.N. remains ready to offer help, if requested. Turkey has not yet called for international aid to help with the crisis.

Officials say the wreckage includes hotels and a dormitory. Survivors said cries from those trapped in the rubble were heard hours after the quake. The mayor of Ercis issued a call for urgent aid, saying there were many dead.

Television footage shows collapsed buildings and crushed vehicles in Van, and people using shovels and pry bars to claw through wreckage for survivors.

Major geological fault lines cross the region and small earthquakes are a frequent occurrence.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid