Death toll up to 20 after earthquake jolts Turkey

A powerful earthquake struck eastern Turkey late on Friday, killing at least 20 people and collapsing buildings in towns near the center of the tremor, which was strong enough to be felt in several neighboring countries.

The magnitude 6.8 quake shook Elazig province, about 550 km (340 miles) east of the capital Ankara, and was followed by dozens of aftershocks.

Sixteen people were killed in Elazig and four more in the neighboring province of Malatya, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said early on Saturday. Some 920 injured were in hospitals in the region, it said.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said emergency workers were searching for 30 people under the rubble.

State broadcaster TRT showed footage of dozens of workers in the dawn light using shovels to dig out a partly collapsed building in Elazig. Windows were smashed and balconies from at least four storeys had crashed to the ground.

Teams worked through the night with their hands, drills and mechanical diggers to remove bricks and plaster from the ruins in the city where the overnight temperature dipped to -8 degrees Celsius. Reuters

 

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