At least 22 people were killed and thousands injured in the earthquake in Eastern Turkey, officials say, reports BBC.
The earthquake of magnitude 6.8 was in the area of the city Sivrice in the province of Elazig at a depth of 6.7 km. the Earthquake led to the collapse of buildings and forced residents to leave their homes.
“The death toll in the earthquake in Elazig increased to 18, and another 405 people were injured in [the province of] elazığ and another 148 people in [the neighbouring province] Malatya. We make every effort to rescue 30 people trapped under the ruined building”, — said earlier the Minister of internal Affairs Suleyman Soylu (quote edition of the Daily Sabah).
Later the number of victims has increased to 22, the number of victims — more than a thousand. Speaking at the same press conference, Minister of zdravoohranenia Fahrettin koca said that now medical assistance is provided for 128 people injured in the rubble of houses, 34 of them are in serious condition.
It is reported that the earthquake occurred at about 20:55 and lasted 15 seconds. The magnitude of aftershocks was from 5.4 to 3.3.
Television footage shows rescuers searching for survivors under the rubble of destroyed buildings.
In the province of elazığ and Malatya aimed 170 additional ambulances and medical helicopters, said the Minister of health Fahrettin koca.
In the affected areas sent hundreds of trucks with humanitarian aid — food, medicine, blankets and tents. The temperature at night drops below zero.
Tremors were also felt in Syria, Lebanon and Iran.
Earthquakes are not a rare phenomenon for Turkey. In 1999, about 17 thousand people died in the earthquake of a magnitude 7.6 Izmit city.
The area affected by the earthquake, is located about 550 km East of Ankara. It is a sparsely populated area, and information about the victims may arrive with a delay.
Sivrice is a city with a population of about 4 million people, is a popular tourist destination on the shores of lake Hazar, the source of the Tigris river.
State television channel TRT, in the morning on Saturday, reports reports from the province of elazığ, where rescuers spent the night trying to extract victims from the rubble of a collapsed four-story residential building.
Rescuers cleared the debris with his bare hands, later arrived at the scene, construction equipment.
“Our houses collapsed, we are unable to enter,” said 32-year-old resident of Sevrice, which marked the epicenter of the earthquake.
“In our village there are dead, — said the young man by the name of Sinesi. — Our animals died, and our people spent the night at a bonfire trying to keep warm”.