Death toll in Turkey earthquake rises to more than eighty

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At least 81 people have so far died in the earthquake that hit the western Turkish region of Izmir on Friday, local authorities announced on Sunday evening. There have now been over a thousand aftershocks. The earthquake also hit the Greek island of Samos, where two people were killed.

Emergency services are still looking for survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings in Izmir. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he wants to heal Izmir’s “wounds” before the cold and rain sets in.

To provide temporary shelter to people whose homes have been destroyed, Turkey has provided more than 3,000 tents and 13,000 beds. A total of 940 people are said to 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.

Sunday night, a 70-year-old man was rescued after lying under the rubble of an eight-story apartment building for 33 hours. A 16-year-old girl was buried under the same building, but was rescued after 17 hours with her dog.

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.

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