Mon. Nov 30th, 2020

Turkey earthquake death toll tops 60, search for survivors enters third day

Rescue teams in the Turkish port city of Izmir are continuing to search for survivors of Friday’s powerful earthquake, as officials say the death toll has increased to at least 64.

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The powerful earthquake that hit Turkey on Friday has killed 62 people, the country’s disaster agency said Sunday.

Two people also died on the Greek island of Samos, Greek authorities said.

Rescue workers continued their search for survivors under the wreckage of buildings in the city of Izmir, in western Turkey.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Sunday there was “no clear number” on how many people are still under rubble.

“Hard to give a number. There is an estimation, but I cannot share.”

What is the latest

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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the tremor’s magnitude at 7.0, while Turkish authorities said it was 6.6.

Most of the damage occurred in Izmir, off Turkey’s Aegean coast – where the tremor sent many people running out into the streets in fear and panic.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that 103 people had been pulled from the rubble so far. At least 940 people have been injured in Turkey, 218 of whom are still being treated at hospitals, the country’s disaster agency said Sunday.

More than 900 aftershocks have been registered since the initial quake, 42 of them with a magnitude over 4.0, according to the agency. The earthquake also triggered what authorities called a “mini tsunami,” causing streets to flood Friday in parts of Turkey’s wider Izmir province, as well as on Samos.

Burying differences

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered his condolences to Erdogan.

“Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together,” Mitsotakis wrote in a tweet.

Relations between Greece and Turkey have been particularly strained in recent months by a dispute relating to control of territorial waters in the Mediterranean and the resources beneath them.

Erdogan later responded in a tweet: “Turkey, too, is always ready to help Greece heal its wounds. That two neighbours show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life.”

The quake struck 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) northeast of the town of Néon Karlovásion on Samos, the USGS reported.

It hit at a relatively shallow depth of 21 kilometers (13 miles), the USGS reported, making its impact powerfully felt at ground level around the epicenter.

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