Wed, 26 Feb 2020

Turkey Death Toll Rises to 39, Following Earthquake

Voice of America
27 Jan 2020, 23:05 GMT+10

Turkey's disaster relief agency said Monday the death toll following last week's powerful earthquake has risen to 39.

Nearly 4,000 people, helped by mechanical diggers, have worked in freezing temperatures to comb through the debris in Elazig in the eastern part of the country after the devastating 6.8-magnitude quake that struck Friday evening.

Officials say 76 buildings in Elazig were destroyed and hundreds more were damaged.

The Associated Press reports that emergency workers have erected more than 9,500 tents to feed and house the displaced.

Authorities say that so far they have pulled 45 people from the rubble.

Turkish television showed one mother, Ayse Yildiz, 35, and her 2-year-old daughter Yusra being rescued from the remains of a collapsed apartment building in Elazig. They had been trapped for 28 hours.

Syrian university student Mahmud al Osman told the state news agency Anadolu that he used only his bare hands to rescue a man and woman from underneath rubble.

The government's disaster and emergency management agency said more than 1,600 people were injured in the quake, with 13 of them in intensive care.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to house displaced survivors as soon as possible.

"Turkey has begun to heal the wounds of this great disaster in unity, togetherness and coming together,'' he said.

Since Friday's quake, more than 900 aftershocks have been felt, according to a report in Hurriyat, a Turkish newspaper.

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