The death toll from Friday's powerful earthquake in eastern Turkey has risen to 22, the country's interior minister said on Saturday. A total of 39 people were also rescued from the rubble of collapsed houses and buildings, Soylu added. Emergency workers and security forces distributed tents, beds and blankets as overnight temperatures dropped below freezing in the affected areas. Mosques, schools, sports halls and student dormitories were opened for hundreds who left their homes after the quake.
The quake hit Friday at 8:55pm local time 1755GMT at a depth of 6.7 kilometres near Sivrice, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said. Various earthquake monitoring centers gave magnitudes ranging from 6.5 to 6.8. AFAD said it was followed by 228 aftershocks, the strongest with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1. At least five buildings in Sivrice and 25 in Malatya province were destroyed, said Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum. Hundreds of other structures were damaged and made unsafe.
1,030 people are injured
AFAD said in a statement that 17 people were killed in Elazig and four in Malatya. Some 1,030 people were hurt. Television footage showed emergency workers removing two people from the wreckage of a collapsed building in the town of Gezin. Another person was saved in the city of Elazig and, two more from a house in Doganyol, Malatya. AFAD said 28 rescue teams were working around the clock. More than 1,300 personnel from 39 of Turkey’s 81 provinces were sent to the disaster site.
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