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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid