At least 98 people have so far died in the earthquake that hit the western Turkish region of Izmir on Friday, local authorities announced on Tuesday. There have now been over a thousand aftershocks. The Aegean earthquake also hit the Greek island of Samos, killing two people.
Turkey is sheltering survivors in thousands of tents
In the ruins of collapsed buildings in Izmir, emergency services are still looking for survivors. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he wants to heal Izmir’s “wounds” before the cold and rain set in.
On Monday morning, another three-year-old girl in Izmir was taken out alive by rescue workers 65 hours after the earthquake in the Aegean Sea. The girl is reunited with her family. The rescue was broadcast live on television.
A few hours before the girl was rescued, rescuers also managed to rescue a fourteen-year-old boy alive. He was immediately taken to the emergency room. According to Turkish state broadcaster Anadolu, 105 people have been rescued since the quake on Friday afternoon.
To provide temporary shelter to people whose homes have been destroyed, Turkey has set up more than 3,000 tents and 13,000 beds. A total of 940 people have been injured, according to the Turkish disaster response organization AFAD. Seven hundred people have been released from hospital, eight are still in intensive care.
Several fault lines of tectonic plates run through Turkey, causing many earthquakes in the region. In 1999, 18,000 people died in two major earthquakes in northwestern Turkey. The epicenter of Friday’s earthquake was in the Aegean Sea northwest of Samos and had a magnitude of 6.9.
It is the deadliest earthquake in Turkey in nine years. In 2011, an earthquake struck near Van, in the far east of the country. The quake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale killed at least 600 people. More than 4,000 people were then injured.
Earthquakes in Turkey are not uncommon. The country is located in an area where the small Arabian tectonic plate pushes against the great Eurasian plate.