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Earthquake Rattles Eastern Turkey, Crumbles Buildings And Kills 3

Rescuers search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Van, eastern Turkey, late Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011.

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake shook eastern Turkey late Wednesday, killing at least three people and collapsing about 20 buildings. Dozens of people are believed to be trapped under the rubble in the Van region near the border with Iran. At least 10 survivors have been pulled from under the toppled buildings so far.

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The quake struck less than three weeks after a strong temblor in the region killed about 600 people and displaced thousands.

State television reported that among the newly toppled buildings was a six-story hotel, which was used by foreign journalists and aid workers.

Local television said rescuers were sent to the region from the capital, Ankara, and other places to the area where work had begun to clear debris from the previous disaster.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake struck at 9:23 p.m. local time. The epicenter was about 15 kilometers from Van province, which was devastated by a 7.2-magnitude quake on October 23. Thousands of people have been living in tents since that disaster.

It is not clear if Wednesday's quake was a strong aftershock.

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