Turkey earthquake death toll rises to 29 with more than 1,000 injured

Dramatic moment girl, three, is found alive under wreckage of Turkey earthquake that killed 29 and injured 1,200 more as rescuers work through the night

  • The death toll from a strong 6.8 earthquake that rocked Elazig in eastern Turkey climbed to 21 on Saturday 
  • A 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook Turkey at 17.55pm GMT near Sivirice in Turkey’s eastern province  
  • Rescue workers were continuing to search for some 30 people buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings 
  • US Geological Survey also recorded shakes being felt as far as Lebanon, Syria, Georgia and Armenia

Rescue workers scoured through rubble today to rescue trapped civilians after a strong earthquake rocked eastern Turkey last night, killing 29 people and injuring 1,200 more. 

Scenes from the devastation tonight show a search and rescue team prying a three-year-old girl, who miraculously survived the quake in the eastern province of Elazig, from slabs that had fallen on top of her during the rumble.    

Local mosques, schools, sports halls and student dormitories opened their doors tonight for the hundreds left homeless after the 6.8-magnitude tremors hit at 1755 GMT last night.  

A rescue worker holds a child that was found alive in the rubble of a collapsed building in Elazig, Turkey, January 25, 2020

Rescue workers carry a three-year-old child that was found alive in the rubble of a building destroyed on Friday’s earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey, late Saturday, 25 January, 2020

Rescue workers carry a body from the site of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Elazig, Turkey, January 26, 2020

Women mourn the death of a relative, after an earthquake in Elazig, Turkey, January 26, 2020

Search and rescue workers save a girl under debris in Mustafa Pasa neighborhood after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25, 2020

The epicentre of the quake was about 340 miles east of the capital, Ankara. Various earthquake monitoring centers gave magnitudes ranging from 6.5 to 6.8. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cancelled his plans in Istanbul earlier today and went to Elazig to inspect the rescue efforts.

He also attended a funeral for a woman and her son killed in the quake, which he described as a ‘test’ for Turkey.

Search and rescue works continue in Mustafa Pasa neighborhood after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25, 2020

Rescue workers carry the body of an earthquake victim in Elazig, Turkey, January 26, 2020

Rescue workers gather in front of a collapsed building, after an earthquake in Elazig, Turkey, January 25, 2020

Rescue workers carry an earthquake survivor in Elazig, Turkey, January 25, 2020

‘We are doing everything we can as the state and nation, and we will continue to do so. Our efforts at all rescue sites will continue,’ he said at the funeral, adding state house developer TOKI would make sure no one was left ‘hungry or in the open.’

Rescue workers were continuing to search for some 30 people buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Elazig province and neighboring Malatya, said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. He warned that the death toll could rise. 

TV footage showed rescuers pull out one injured person from the rubble of a collapsed building in the district of Gezin.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (centre) attends a funeral ceremony of Muhammed Salih Civelek and Aysegul Civelek who died in the earthquake 

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visits a neighborhood hit by the earthquake in Elazig, Turkey, on Saturday

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan observes the ongoing search and rescue works in Sursuru neighbourhood of the quake-hit Elazig province of Turkey

: Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar visits the earthquake site on January 25

Rescue workers carry earthquake survivor Ayse Ylidiz from a collapsed building after surviving for 20 hours

Rescuers work on a collapsed building the morning after a strong earthquake struck in Elazig in the eastern Turkey, Saturday

Rescuers search rubble for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25

Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a building after an earthquake hit Elazig, Turkey

escue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a building on Saturday after an earthquake hit Elazig the night before 

Drone photo shows quake damaged buildings and teams conducting search and rescue operations for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25

Rescuers search rubble for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25

Rescuers search quake rubble in Sursuru neighborhood for survivors. Search and rescue efforts are underway after a deadly earthquake rattled eastern Turkey

A resident is pulled out from the quake rubble as teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building

Around 30 were believed to be trapped inside collapsed structures in Elazig , Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

Rescue teams from neighboring provinces were dispatched to the affected areas, working in the dark with floodlights in the freezing cold, and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said troops were on standby to help. 

Hundreds of residents were left homeless or with damaged homes. 

Drone photo shows quake damaged buildings and teams conducting search and rescue operations for survivors

3 Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a building

Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a building after an earthquake hit Elazig, Turkey on Friday evening 

A view of a destroyed building and a car partially buried in rubble after an earthquake wreaked havoc in eastern Turkey 

Rescuers search rubble for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25. Search and rescue efforts are underway after a deadly earthquake rattled eastern Turkey, killing at least 31 people

Rescuers search rubble for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig

Drone photo shows quake damaged buildings and teams conducting search and rescue operations for survivors. Around 30 were believed to be trapped inside collapsed structures

Around 30 were believed to be trapped inside collapsed structures in Elazig province, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

A video take at the scene shows residents running after the quake hit and emergency vehicles near a damaged building.

Emergency workers and security forces distributed tents, beds and blankets as overnight temperatures dropped below freezing in the affected areas. 

Drone photo shows quake damaged buildings and teams conducting search and rescue operations for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25

People try to get warm around a fire after an earthquake hit Elazig, Turkey

Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a building after an earthquake hit Elazig, Turkey

escue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a building after a deadly earthquake hit Elazig in eastern Turkey 

A car stuck in the rubble after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25, killing 31 people and injuring over 1000 

Rescuers gather together as they conduct a day of searching among the rubble on Saturday 

Rescuers search rubble for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 25

Mosques, schools, sports halls and student dormitories were opened for hundreds who left their homes after the quake.

‘The earthquake was very severe, we desperately ran out (of our home),’ Emre Gocer told the state-run Anadolu news agency as he sheltered with his family at a sports hall in the town of Sivrice in Elazig. 

‘We don’t have a safe place to stay right now.’

A collapsed building hangs off the side of another in the wake of a devastating earthquake that ripped through eastern Turkey earlier today 

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who traveled to the afflicted area together with Soylu, said 13 people were killed in Elazig, including two people who suffered heart attacks, and five others died in Malatya. 

A total of 553 people were hurt, including 11 who were in serious condition.

Some 30 buildings had collapsed from the quake in the two provinces, according to Murat Kurum, the environment minister.

At least five buildings in Sivrice and 25 in Malatya province were destroyed, said Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum. Hundreds of other structures were damaged and made unsafe. 

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

A building can be seen split in two as search teams conduct a rescue operation for survivors after a 6.8-magnitude quake ripped through the eastern Turkish province of Elazig today 

A rescuer stands in front of a collapsed building today after eastern Turkey was hit by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake 

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency AFAD said 28 rescue teams were working around the clock. More than 1,300 personnel from 39 of Turkey’s 81 provinces were sent to the disaster site.

‘Our biggest hope is that the death toll does not rise,’ Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop said. 

Communication companies announced free telephone and internet services for residents in the quake-hit region, while Turkish Airlines announced extra flights.

The insides of a collapsed building are visible through the side of the wall in the eastern Turkish province of Elazig today after the earthquake 

Rescue operatives scour the rubble for survivors during a search mission today in eastern Turkey

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

A locator map shows Elazig province in eastern Turkey 

Turkish rescue and police work at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020

Turkish officials and police work at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said emergency work was proceeding under the threat of aftershocks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter overnight that all measures were being taken to ‘ensure that the earthquake that occurred in Elazig and was felt in many provinces is overcome with the least amount of loss.’

Neighboring Greece, which is at odds with Turkey over maritime boundaries and gas exploitation rights, offered to send rescue crews should they be needed.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis phoned Erdogan to offer ‘condolences and sympathy on behalf of the Greek people,’ Mitsotakis’ office said in a statement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that all measures were being taken to ‘ensure that the earthquake that occurred in Elazig and was felt in many provinces is overcome with the least amount of loss.’ 

Turkish officials and police work at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Doganyol district of Malatya province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Turkish officials and police arrive at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing several people according to the Turkish interior ministry

Kaldirim said a fire broke out in a building in Sivrice but was quickly brought under control.

Earlier, Soylu told NTV television that rescuers were trying to reach survivors after a four- or five-story building collapsed in the town of Maden in Elazig. 

Around four or five buildings collapsed in Sivrice, where two people were hurt, he said. 

urkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Turkish Environment Minister Murat Kurum and Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca inspect debris of a collapsed building after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

The front of a residential building is shown collapsed in on itself after today’s earthquake in eastern Turkey 

Turkish officials and police try to keep warm at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Doganyol district of Malatya province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

A drone photo shows teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Gezin neighborhood of Maden district after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

A drone photo shows teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Gezin neighborhood of Maden district after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

‘We are hoping we will not have more casualties,’ he was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency. 

Turkish television showed images of people stuck in apartments rushing outside in panic, as well as a fire on the roof of one building. 

‘It was very scary, furniture fell on top of us. We rushed outside,’ 47-year-old Melahat Can, who lives in the city of Elazig, said. 

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Doganyol district of Malatya province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Residents walk on a street as Turkish officials and police arrive at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Doganyol district of Malatya province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Rescuers work on a collapsed building after an earthquake in Elazig province, Turkey, January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Gezin neighborhood of Maden district after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. 2 wounded saved under the debris

‘We will spend the coming days in a farmhouse outside the city,’ she said.  

‘Sivrice was shaken very seriously, we have directed our rescue teams to the region,’ he told reporters, adding that there were reports of some collapsed buildings in the region. 

Soylu was at a meeting on earthquake preparedness when the quake struck. 

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Doganyol district of Malatya province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

People waiting in front of the collapsed building after an earthquake hit Elazig, Turkey, 24 January 2020. According to reports, four people have died and several are injured after 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey, also affecting parts of Syria, Georgia and Armenia

People stand outside a collapsed building after an earthquake in Elazig, Turkey, January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Gezin neighborhood of Maden district after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Local administrator Cuma Telceken said up to seven people are believed to be trapped inside two collapsed buildings in Maden. 

Turkish aid organisations said they had sent teams to affected areas and Soylu described the earthquake as a ‘level 3’ incident according to the country’s emergency response plan. This means it requires assistance at the national level but is one stage short of needing international help.

The quake struck in a remote, relatively sparsely populated area and it could take some time for authorities to establish the full extent of damage.

Turkish officials and police arrive at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020

Rescuers are seen in outside a collapsed building after an earthquake in Elazig, Turkey, January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Turkish officials and police work at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020

Teams conduct a search and rescue operations for survivors of a collapsed building in Doganyol district of Malatya province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

The tremor was felt in several parts of eastern Turkey including Tunceli, the Turkish broadcaster NTV reported, adding that neighbouring cities had mobilised rescue teams for the quake area.   

It was followed by several aftershocks, the strongest with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1. 

The US Geological Survey assessed the quake’s magnitude at 6.7, and said it struck at a depth of about six miles.

Men stand on rubble of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing several people according to the Turkish interior ministry

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

‘We have sent four teams to the quake region,’ Recep Salci of Turkey’s Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) said. ‘We have news of collapsed buildings, and preparing more teams in case of need.’

Zekeriya Gunes, 68, a resident of Elazig city, said a building 200 metres down on his street had collapsed but he did not know whether it was inhabited.

‘Everybody is in the street, it was very powerful, very scary,’ he said.

Pictured: People can be seen gathering outside their homes in eastern Turkey after this evening’s earthquake 

Residents evacuate their houses as a precautionary measure in Turkey’s eastern Diyarbakir province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig was also felt in Diyarbakir

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters that there were no reports of any casualties in Sivrice but said the quake may have caused casualties in rural areas outside the town.  

‘Sivrice was shaken very seriously, we have directed our rescue teams to the region,’ he told reporters, adding that there were reports of some collapsed buildings in the region.

He added that troops were also on standby to assist if required. 

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visits Roketsan, leading Turkish defence company, in Ankara, Turkey on January 22, 2020. Akar said today that the armed forces were on standby to help if they were needed

Turkey lies on major faultlines and is prone to earthquakes. 

The Kandilli seismology center in Istanbul said the quake measured 6.5.

The US Geological Survey gave the preliminary magnitude as 6.7, with the quake affecting not only Turkey but also Syria, Georgia and Armenia. 

Residents leave their houses after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

The quake had a depth of 6.2 miles, according to EMSC.

State media in neighbouring Syria reported the earthquake was felt in several areas of the country. 

Local media in Lebanon reported the same in the cities of Beirut and Tripoli. 

A collapsed building is seen following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing several people according to the Turkish interior ministry

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Residents evacuate their houses in Turkey’s eastern Gaziantep province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig was also felt in Gaziantep

Residents leave their houses after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Turkish media said the earthquake sent people running outdoors for safety.

In 1999, a devastating 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Izmit in western Turkey, leaving more than 17,000 people dead including about 1,000 in the economic capital Istanbul. 

In September, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake shook Istanbul, causing residents to flee buildings in the economic capital.  

A magnitude 6 earthquake killed 51 people in Elazig in 2010.

Experts have long warned a large quake could devastate the city of 15 million people, which has allowed widespread building without safety precautions. 

In 2011 an earthquake struck the eastern city of Van and the town of Ercis, some 60 miles to the north, killing at least 523 people. 

 

 

Source: Read Full Article