News / Europe

Quake Kills at Least 217 in Southeast Turkey

People try to save others trapped under debris in Tabanli village near the city of Van after a powerful earthquake struck eastern Turkey, October 23, 2011.
People try to save others trapped under debris in Tabanli village near the city of Van after a powerful earthquake struck eastern Turkey, October 23, 2011.
Dorian Jones

A powerful earthquake has struck southeastern Turkey, killing at least 217.  The quake, measuring 7.2, has caused buildings to collapse in the remote and poor region and there are growing fears of of a high casualty toll.  A major rescue operation is under way in the area.

In the desperate search for survivors, using shovels and even their bare hands, people work through the rubble of one of numerous collapsed buildings.  In the town of Ercis close to the epicenter of the quake, 25 apartment blocks have reportedly collapsed, including a student dormitory.

Watch: Video from the aftermath of the Turkish earthquake

My wife and four month old baby are inside, this man said. as he watches people digging through the rubble of his home.  But there is already growing anger.

Look they choose money over people's lives, this apartment building should never have collapsed, this man said.

Watch: A video of the quake as it happened

Observers say Turkey has a chronic problem of poorly constructed buildings, in particular state built structures that frequently fail when earthquakes strike.  Sunday's quake measured 7.2 and struck very close to the surface, magnifying its power.

Location of the earthquake according to the USGS:


View Larger Map

Southeastern Turkey is one of the most remote and poorest regions in the country.  There is growing concern for the fate of numerous small towns and villages from which there has been little news due to the telephone system failing.  

Emergency teams have reached some of the main cities and towns, and several ministers have visited the region.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay visited the town of Ercis, which was badly damaged by the quake.  He promised everything would be done to help.

A plane carrying 160 people for rescuing and assistance has been sent, two other military planes have also been dispatched.  He said the government is doing everything it can to assist.  

The country's main earthquake research center, Kandili, in Istanbul estimated such a quake could claim between 500 and 1,000 lives.

Turkey is no stranger to quakes in a seismically active region.  In 1999 the Istanbul area was hit by a powerful quake killing more than 20,000 people.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid