Turkey Earthquake 2011

October 23, 2011 by staff 

Turkey Earthquake 2011Turkey Earthquake 2011, A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit eastern Turkey on Sunday, killing at least 85 people and causing widespread panic, as dozens of buildings collapsed into piles of twisted metal and chunks of concrete.

Tens of thousands of residents fled to the streets running, screaming and trying to reach relatives of cell phones. As the full extent of the damage became apparent, desperate survivors dug through the rubble with their bare hands, trying to rescue those trapped and injured.

“My wife and child are in! My 4 month old baby is in!” CNN-Turk television showed a young man crying in front of a building collapsed in Van, the provincial capital.

The quake struck the mountainous region of Turkey to 1:41 pm with its epicenter in the town of Tabanli, 10 miles (17 kilometers) from Van, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

TRT state television reported that 59 people were killed or wounded 150 in the eastern city of Erci?, 25 people died in Van and a child were killed in the neighboring province of Bitlis.

Turkish scientists estimated that up to 1,000 people who might already be dead, due to the low quality of local housing and the size of the earthquake.

The most affected was Erci?, a town of 75,000 near the border with Iran, which is in the Erci? fault in one of the Turkey-prone zones. Van, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) south, also suffered considerable damage.

Up to 80 buildings collapsed in Erci?, including a bedroom, and 10 buildings collapsed in Van, the Turkish Red Crescent said. Some roads also collapsed, CNN-Turk television reported.

NTV television said hundreds of wounded were treated at the state hospital in Erci?. Erci? Survivors complained of the lack of heavy machinery to remove chunks of concrete floors that collapsed on each other, NTV television reported.

“So many dead. Several buildings have collapsed. There is so much destruction,” Mayor Erci? Arapoglu Zulfikar told NTV television. “We need urgent help. We need doctors.”

In Van, terrified residents into the streets screaming. Rescuers and residents came out, using only their hands and shovels base, to save those trapped.

Residents wept outside the ruins of a flattened eight-story building, with the hope that their missing relatives would be rescued.

Witnesses said eight people were rescued from the rubble, but the frequent aftershocks hampered search efforts, CNN-Turk reported.

U.S. scientists recorded eight aftershocks within three hours of the earthquake, two of them with a magnitude of 5.6.

Severe damage and casualties were reported also in the district Celebibag near Erci?.

“There are many people under the rubble,” said Veysel Keser, Mayor Celebibag, NTV. “People are in agony, you can hear their cries for help. We need urgent assistance.”

He said many buildings had collapsed, including student residences, hotels and gas stations.

Nazmi Gur, a lawmaker from Van, was at the funeral of his nephew when the quake struck. The funeral ceremony was interrupted and he rushed back to help with rescues.

“At least six buildings had collapsed. We managed to rescue some people, but I have seen at least five bodies,” Gur told The Associated Press by telephone. “There is no coordinated rescue at the moment, everyone is doing what they can.”

“It was a powerful earthquake. It lasted a long time,” said Gur. “(Now) there is no electricity, no heating, everyone is out in the cold.”

Many residents fled They will seek shelter with relatives in nearby villages.

“I’m taking my family to our town, our house was fine, but there are c3acks in our office building,” said Sahabettin Ozer, 47, by phone while en route to the village of Muradiye.

NTV said the airport van was damaged and the aircraft were being diverted to neighboring cities.

The authorities had no information yet in remote villages, but the governor was touring the region by helicopter and the government sent in tents, field kitchens and blankets. Some of Erci? reported shortages of bread, a staple of Turkey, due to damage to the bakeries.

Houses also collapsed in the province of Bitlis, where he died an 8-year-old, authorities said, and quake toppled the minarets of two mosques in the neighboring province of Mus.

There was no immediate information about a church recently restored 10th century Armenian Church Akdamar, perched on a rocky island in nearby Lake Van.

Turkey is one of the world’s most active seismic and is crossed by numerous faults. Lake Van, where the quake struck Sunday, the country’s most earthquake-prone region.

Kandilli Observatory, the main center of Turkey seismography said Sunday’s quake was able to kill many people.

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