An estimated 1,000 people were feared dead as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit eastern Turkey on Sunday, destroying dozens of buildings into piles of twisted steel and blocks of concrete and trapping some victims alive under debris. The quake’s epicenter was at the village of Tabanli, 20 km north of Van city, Kandilli said.
According to Besir Atalay, the powerful quake collapsed some 25-30 buildings as well as a dormitory in the eastern town of Ercis in Van province and 10 buildings were in ruins in the city of Van, Turkey. Turkish media said phone lines and electricity had been cut off and the quake’s epicenter was at the village of Tabanli, 20 km north of Van city. At least 138 people were believed to have been killed and injured another 350 people, although officials said the final toll could reach 1,000. Some 50 injured people were taken to hospital in Van, state-run Anatolian news agency reported, but it did not give details on how serious their injuries were. Furthermore, a total of 93 people died in Van province alone and 45 in the Ercis district. Tens of thousands of citizens fled into the streets running, screaming and trying to reach relatives on cell phones. As the full extent of the damage became clear, desperate survivors dug into the rubble with their bare hands, trying to rescue the trapped and the injured.
A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 struck eastern Turkey Sunday, causing at least 138 people dead, 350 people injured
Officials worried the final toll could reach 1,000
Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which is crossed by several fault lines
In 1999, there were two very strong quakes in the heavily populated and industrialized regions of northwest Turkey caused the death of roughly 20,000 people
And another deadly earthquake in the town of Caldiran in Van province killed 3,840 in 1976
Powerful Earthquake in Turkey 2011 Left 1000 Feared Dead