Sunday, October 23, 2011

Earthquake Turkey: 'Many Feared dead' as Strong aftershocks continue to strike the area - 23rd Oct 2011

A powerful earthquake struck eastern Turkey Sunday, collapsing at least two buildings in the center of eastern city of Van, the mayor said.

Television footage showed damaged buildings and vehicles, crushed under falling masonry, and panicked residents wandering the streets.

"Two buildings collapsed in Van, but the telephone system is jammed due to panic and we can't assess the entire damage immediately," Bekir Kaya, the mayor of Van, told NTV television.

'Much destruction'
The state-run Anatolia news agency said rescue workers were trying to reach people believed to be trapped under the wreckage of a seven-story building in Van, close to the Iranian border.

"There are so many dead. Several buildings have collapsed, there is too much destruction," said Zulfikar Arapoglu, the mayor for the town of Ercis told NTV television.

"We need urgent aid, we need medics," he added.

Anatolia said 50 injured people had been taken to hospital in Van, but did not give details on how serious their injuries were.

Turkish media said electricity had been cut off. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was reportedly heading to Van to see the damage.

Erdogan's office later said the quake had caused loss of life, Anatolia reported. However, an official death toll was not immediately released.

NTV said Van's airport was damaged and planes were being diverted to neighboring cities. Read More

UPDATE: At least 25 buildings collapsed including a student dormitory, reports are coming in of many dead and they need assistance as calls are coming in from all across the region.

more to follow