Turkey earthquake: Over 1,500 injured and death toll rises to 36

World Faizah Kamal 26-Jan-2020
Earthquake in Turkey
ID 21717590 © Conceptw | Dreamstime.com

Turkey’s vice president, Fuat Oktay, announced on January 26 that the death toll from the powerful earthquake that occurred on January 24 in eastern Turkey rose to 36.

Oktay was speaking to reporters in the country’s capital city of Ankara.

So far, 1,547 people have been reported injured as rescue workers continue searching for victims buried under the rubble, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

A total of 45 people have been rescued, including a woman who was found 17 hours after her house had collapsed.

AFAD said rescue work continues in the region with more than 3,433 personnel, hundreds of vehicles and 17 sniffer dogs.

A team of surveyors are assessing the damage caused by the earthquake, with initial reports suggesting that 76 buildings were demolished while 42 were damaged and 425 had minor damage.

On January 24, the 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook the Elazığ province, which is about 550 km (340 miles) east of the country’s capital Ankara. The earthquake was followed by more than 390 aftershocks, 14 of which had magnitudes of over 4.

Tremors were also felt in the neighbouring countries of Syria and Georgia.

More than 530 aftershocks were felt in the region, with nine of them reaching a magnitude of over 4.

Earlier on January 25, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the region and attended the funeral of two victims.

“We have borne many earthquakes but the nation has risen above them patiently,” said Erdoğan, asking citizens to exercise strength in their weakest hour.

Erdoğan also stressed that the state has been running to the needs of its citizens with all its institutions and facilities since the earthquake.