Disasters & Accidents

At least 6 dead as fresh quakes rock Turkey’s Hatay

Ankara, Feb 21 (EFE).- At least six people were killed in Turkey’s Hatay province after a second round of earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria as the region responds to the widespread devastation caused by deadly quakes two weeks ago, local media reported Tuesday

The ministry of health said that another 295 people were injured, 18 of them critically, in the already hard-hit southern region.

The main tremor measuring 6.4 in magnitude came at 5:04 pm Monday in Hatay province, according to Turkey’s national emergency service AFAD, and the second one three minutes later.

Local authorities have called for urgent tent deliveries because panicked residents have refused to return to their homes over fear of collapse.

Interior minister Suleyman Soylu warned late Monday that there were more people still trapped in the ruins of the newly flattened buildings, stressing that rescue teams were conducting searches in three buildings that collapsed.

Refik Eryilmaz, the mayor of Samandag, the coastal town nearest to the epicenter of the second quake on Monday, told NTV television that several buildings had collapsed and that it was still not known whether anyone had been inside them when the quake occurred.

He added that it is possible that some local residents could have taken shelter from the harsh cold in the remains of buildings damaged two weeks ago and he issued a desperate call for tents to provide shelter for the public.

Since the quakes on February 6, teams have been combing through the rubble in Antakya trying to find survivors.

Many survivors of the first two tremors have been gathering around bonfires outside collapsed buildings to help identify bodies.

Hatay is one of the 11 provinces devastated two weeks ago by the 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes that killed 41,156 in Turkey and over 5,000 in northern Syria and flattened thousands of buildings.

With the search and rescue efforts almost completed, it is feared that there are tens of thousands of bodies still under the rubble.EFE


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