Hope was fading of finding more survivors on Sunday as rescue efforts after a major earthquake two days ago continued in the western Turkish city of Izmir and the death toll hit 69.
Nor was Turkey the only country affected. Two more victims of Friday’s quake were found dead on the Greek island of Samos but were not included in Turkish statistics.
The two teenagers were buried on Sunday, according to media reports. Many on Samos slept outside, in cars and tents, out of fear of aftershocks, which continued to rock the region.
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Of a total of 804 people injured, some 200 were still getting treatment, according to Turkey’s disaster agency AFAD.
Many in Turkey made homeless by the quake also spent a second night outdoors. The emergency authority provided some 1,500 tents and said 2,000 more were on the way. Containers were also being readied. Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer said the search was also on for blankets and heaters, as temperatures were expected to tumble.
The magnitude-6.6 quake struck on Friday at a depth of 16.5 kilometres in Izmir’s Seferihisar district. Marco Bohnhoff, a seismologist with the Geological Research Centre (GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany, said it was a “normal-faulting” quake, which means that part of the subsoil has moved downwards.
He says the magnitude recorded was at the upper end of what is normally expected for such quakes.
It was felt on Greek islands in the Aegean as well as in nearby Turkish cities, including Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, some 540 kilometres to the north. Several buildings collapsed completely, while hundreds were left damaged by the quake.
According to official figures, rescuers were searching for survivors at eight buildings on Sunday. They urged relief workers and bystanders to be quiet so they could hear voices.
Schools in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city after Istanbul and Ankara with 4.3 million people, would close for the week. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said 26 buildings in Izmir would have to be demolished because they were no longer inhabitable. Sport centres and club houses were being converted into temporary housing.
Turkey sits on major seismic fault lines. Two deadly quakes in the eastern cities of Elazig and Malatya in January killed more than 40 people.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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