Hundreds feared dead, countless injured in Turkey; following 7.2 earthquake

Hundreds feared dead, countless injured in Turkey; following 7.2 earthquake

Erciş : Turkey | Oct 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM PDT
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BREAKING NEWS - 7.2 earthquake hits Turkey Oct 23, 2011

An extremely powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocks eastern Turkey on Sunday; countless buildings collapsed, houses damaged and scores of people feared dead. According to officials, at least 45 people had died while dozens were left with injuries. However, experts said death toll is way beyond the initial estimates; they expect more than 1,000 people already dead.

Several people are feared buried alive underneath the rubble of their own houses that reportedly turned into piles of twisted metal and mere chunks of concrete. Preliminary reports and state-run television channels confirmed the news of 45 deaths as result of powerful jolts that shook vast area in eastern region. Desperate survivors would be seen all over the area digging into debris using their bare hands; hoping they could still safe and rescue their dear ones, trapped under tons of concrete.

Further, local media news suggested that at least 150 people were left severely injured in Ercis alone, an eastern small town. As mentioned above, the scientists strongly believe that keeping in view low housing standards in the said area and the strong jolts; survival of residents would be a miracle. Population of the town is estimated to be 75,000 while the town is located in Van, a mountainous province that is close to Iranian borders.

It has been learned that town of Ercis that lies on famous Ercis Fault Range, suffered most substantial damage; the area is known to be the worst earthquake-prone zone of Turkey. It was 1:41 in the afternoon when the Van province was struck by the temblor that caused widespread chaos and panic throughout major towns of province. Several neighboring cities were also rocked, informed the U.S. Geological Survey.

While giving details on the sad calamity, Besir Atalay the country’s deputy prime minister conveyed that at least 45 main buildings in Ercis alone had turned into wreckage whereas 10 more collapsed in Van province. On the other hand city mayor Zulfiqar Arapoglu said that damages in Ercis are much higher than preliminary estimates, destruction is too much, he further added. During a televised interview Zulfiqar appealed for urgent aid and medics.

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NadeemIftekhar is based in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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