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Turkey earthquake: More aid pledged to worst-hit areas

25 October 2011 10:29 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Turkish government has pledged more aid to thousands of people affected by Sunday's deadly earthquake in the east. Officials said 12,000 more tents would be delivered to the cities of Ercis and Van and also to nearby villages.

Ankara has been accused of failing to help some of the most needy, who spent the second night in freezing conditions without heating and tents.

At least 366 people are now known to have died and some 1,300 injured after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

More than 2,000 houses collapsed due to the quake, the Disaster and Emergency Administration said on Tuesday.

'We're freezing'
Rescue teams with sniffer dogs continued through the night to search for survivors under the rubble of hundreds of collapsed buildings.

Cranes and other heavy equipment have been lifting slabs of concrete, and many residents have been joining in the rescue effort, digging with shovels.
But hopes of finding more survivors are fading, with no-one being pulled alive in the last seven to eight hours, the BBC's Tim Willcox in Ercis reports.
In one building, our correspondent adds, there are fears that up to 50 are missing – buried under the rubble.

Turkish officials are now warning that the death toll is expected to rise further.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, in charge of the relief operation, said late on Monday that "from today there will be nothing our people lack".
Officials were also setting up more field hospitals and kitchens to help the thousands left homeless or too afraid to return to their homes amid continuing aftershocks.
But some survivors complained that not enough help was reaching them.

"We spent the night under freezing temperature. We shivered all night long, nobody provided us any blankets or heaters, we don't even have a toilet," one woman told the BBC.

"People are getting sick. It is very dirty here."
Another resident of Van said that even tents were in short supply.

"All the nylon tents are on the black market now," Ibrahim Baydar, a 40-year-old tradesman from Van, told Reuters news agency.
"We cannot find any. People are queuing for them. No tents were given to us whatsoever," he said.

Opposition politicians earlier decried what they called "a lack of crisis management", saying that many people still lacked food, heating and tents.
They also said Ankara was wrong to refuse offers of foreign aid.

Ercis, with a population of about 75,000, has been the worst hit - dozens of buildings have collapsed there.
The BBC's Daniel Sandford, in Ercis, says most of those destroyed buildings are apartment blocks with dozens of people missing at each site.

Both Ercis and the larger city of Van, about 100km (60 miles) to the south, lie on a high plateau surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

'Primitive tools'

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office visited the area on Sunday and said many villages made of mud brick had been almost completely destroyed.

Some of the rescue workers have complained of a lack of adequate equipment, said the Hurriyet Daily News.
"We are working with primitive tools, we have no equipment," one rescuer told the Turkish newspaper.
Despite the difficulties, five people were pulled from the ruins of one collapsed building in Ercis on Monday after one of them called for help on his mobile phone, Anatolia news agency said.

Another man was rescued later on Monday, some 30 hours after the earthquake struck.
The earthquake struck at 13:41 (10:41 GMT) on Sunday at a depth of 20km (12 miles), with its epicentre 16km north-east of Van in eastern Turkey, the US Geological Survey said.

About 200 aftershocks have hit the region, it added, including one of magnitude 6.0 late on Sunday.
Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines.
Two earthquakes in 1999 with a magnitude of more than 7 killed almost 20,000 people in densely populated parts of the north-west of the country. (Source: BBC)
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  • Sola Malai Tuesday, 25 October 2011 01:59 PM

    I THINK TURKEY SHOULD ASK AID FROM THEIR BEST FRIEND NATO COUNTRIES ...NOT FROM OTHRERS


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