More bodies are found after earthquake in Turkey

More bodies are found after earthquake in Turkey

Van : Turkey | Nov 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM PST
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Baby Survives After 46 Hours In Rubble - Turkey Earthquake

The death toll from the second earthquake to hit Turkey in almost three weeks rose to 20 on Friday after being found more bodies in the rubble in the city of Van in eastern Turkey.

Two hotels that have fallen because of the earthquake on Wednesday, a magnitude 5.6, were the only occupied buildings of 25 that collapsed. Most people had left their homes after an earthquake earlier on October 23, which left over 600 dead.

The new tragedy feeds discontent among families begging for tents and other resources, although the government claims to be providing all that is needed. The desperation of the homeless is even greater because of the approaching winter. On Friday, Van, ethnic Kurdish majority city with about 1 million inhabitants, received the first snowfall of the season.

On Thursday, police used tear gas to disperse about 200 people who demanded the resignation of the governor, accused of inefficiency in the delivery of aid.

Aftershocks shake the region with frightening regularity since the earthquake of October 23, magnitude 7.2. But experts say the quake on Wednesday was a new incident seismic, and not a peal of the earthquake in October, according to Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, who oversees relief work.

An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 usually do not cause major damage, but many buildings were already weakened by the quake before.

Using picks, saws and heavy machinery, rescuers pulled 28 survivors from the rubble, making pauses to try to hear any noises emitted by the victims. "We will continue searching until all debris has been removed," said one officer involved in the activity, taking a tea while a colleague took his place in the wreckage.

The earthquake interrupted the electricity in Van, but generators feed spotlight that allowed the continuation of rescue work during the night. With all the abandoned buildings, the center of Van looked like a ghost town.

At dawn, some men gathered in tea houses and kebab restaurants, which, being ground floor, stood up and has reopened. One or two groups lit bonfires in the streets, burning trash for warmth.

Camps for the homeless were armed on the outskirts of the city, but many families preferred to assemble the tents near their homes, despite the authorities' efforts to bring these people to areas where help is more organized.

* With Reuters and AP

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An earthquake of 7.3 magnitude rocked eastern Turkey on Sunday
An earthquake of 7.3 magnitude rocked eastern Turkey on Sunday
Abdel Fattah Hussein is based in Cairo, Kairo, Egypt, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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